Seanad Approval for Technological Universities legislation clears the way for the South East Technological University

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March 2018

The Project Steering Group for the South East Technological University warmly welcomes the passing of the Technological Universities Bill through both houses of the Oireachtas, culminating with its approval by Seanad Éireann on the 8th March 2018.

Coincidentally, this news coincided with a gathering of several-hundred stakeholder representatives from across the South East counties on the 9th March to hear about Project Ireland 2040 from An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar; Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor; Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe; and Minister for Training and Skills, John Halligan.

“The response to the passing of the legislation was exceptionally positive from all Government members and stakeholder representatives at this event: representatives from both South East Institutes of Technology and those from a broad range of private, public and voluntary sectors” commented the Governing Body Chairs and Presidents of the two Institutes “The most oft-asked question was when would the South East avail of the considerable opportunity provided by this new legislation? Our unequivocal response to this question is that both Institutes are working diligently together to have all preparatory work completed by July 2018 for a formal application for Technological University designation in the second half of 2018.”

The overall goal of the South East Institutes of Technology is to build on the 100 year collective history and distinctive strengths and achievements of the two Institutes, leveraging the ideas and resources of both, to create a unique and distinctive multi-campus institution of higher learning of international repute, serving the whole of the South-Eastern Region and beyond, offering wide-ranging opportunities to learners, and collaborating with a broad range of civic, academic and industry partners for improved socioeconomic development.

The success and scale of impact of the new University on the economic fortunes of the South East will understandably be directly related to the level of investment. A step change in regional higher education provision is required for higher education to lead and respond to the changing social, cultural and economic landscape in the region within a rapidly evolving national and international context. The Government clearly appreciates this, acknowledging the value that the multi-campus South East Technological University would bring to the region including impact on retaining the student and graduate base, attracting students from beyond the region and attracting foreign direct investment. The commitment of An Taoiseach and the Minister for Higher Education to the South East Technological University initiative is absolute and hugely encouraging for our work in the coming months.”

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