The Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, TD, formally launched the new GMIT Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023 at a reception in the Galway campus today (26 April) attended by the Mayor of Galway city, Cllr Niall McNelis, Dr Michael Hannon, deputising President of GMIT, Cormac MacDonncha, Chair of the Governing Body, members of the Governing Body, students, staff, colleagues from the Connacht-Ulster Alliance and invited guests.
The GMIT Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023 represents the next stage in the development of GMIT as it transitions to a Technological University (TU) together with its CUA partners, Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) and Institute of Technology Sligo (ITS).
Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, says “I am truly delighted today to launch GMIT strategic plan 2019 -2023. GMIT provides its students with a transformative university experience, empowering its graduates to fully contribute to the social, economic and cultural enrichment of society. GMIT invests in excellent applied learning, teaching and research environments, reflecting the real needs of business, enterprise and the professions in the region. GMIT excels in the area of research, enterprise and innovation, supporting and encouraging its students and staff from all over the world, enabling them to reach their full potential. GMIT students can stand shoulder to shoulder with any of their peers on any international stage. I am incredibly proud to be here today endorsing your ambitions to be a Technological University and wish you every success in all your endeavours.”
Chairman of the GMIT Governing Body, Cormac MacDonncha, says: “This Strategic Plan will be a lived experience for GMIT as it will be updated annually to reflect the dynamic nature of the higher education landscape. The plan is underwritten by a major capital investment of €60m, most of which is already in place. The Governing Body will work with the Department of Education & Skills and the HEA to secure the full €60m over the lifetime of this plan.”
Dr Michael Hannon, Deputising President of GMIT, says: “Our commitment and ambition to become a TU permeates this strategic plan, with our mission and vision strongly aligned with the mission and vision of the proposed new TU. The plan places at its centre the student experience and student life-cycle. The student enters GMIT as an individual and is shaped both personally and professionally through engagement with the GMIT community. As the student transitions to the workplace or further education the impact of the GMIT experience is what he/she brings to their new community,” explains Dr Hannon.
“A TU for the West and North West region will be of substantial significance in both the Irish Higher Education sector and as an economic enterprise in its own right. With a projected enrolment of 18,000 to 20,000 students our new university will be the largest HE institution in the region. GMIT is a key driver of this development based on its current experience of managing a multi-campus institution across a diverse geographical region. Together with IT Sligo and LYIT we aim to be designated as a TU during the lifetime of this strategic plan. Over the past eighteen months the strategic planning process involved comprehensive internal and external consultation, with oversight from our Governing Body.” adds Dr Hannon.
The priority focus of the Strategic Plan for the initial period will concentrate on five of the thirteen strategic enablers, such as Digital Learning; Programmes with an applied focus; Employability and Professional Practice; Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, Infrastructure and Facilities.
GMIT’s new workplace choir, GMIT Voices, performed two songs at the launch of the new Strategic Plan. The choir won ‘Best Newcomer’ at the recent SCCUL Sanctuary Choir Factor, their first public performance outside of GMIT.