€5.7 million in funding has been allocated to GMIT, Sligo IT, and Letterkenny IT to help towards their goal of achieving a joint Technological University status.
The three Institutes of Technology are together working towards an application to be designated as a TU under the banner of the Connacht Ulster Alliance.
The CUA plans to make a formal application to become a Technological University before the end of this year, after resuming face to face meetings last month.
The funding announced for the CUA this week is part of €34.33 million allocated by Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris to help IoTs achieve Technological University status.
The money is being allocated under the 2020 Higher Education Authority (HEA) call to assist the development and progression of technological universities.
Galway Senator Aisling Dolan welcomed the announcement, saying that it is crucial to develop campuses that will “attract growth and encourage investment” in the region.
“As the CUA state on their website, this will bring together students, enterprise and communities in rural areas,” Senator Dolan said.
“I congratulate the teams working together across GMIT, IT Sligo & Letterkenny IT to make this happen for the West & North-West.”
The TURN (TU Research Network) report ‘Connectedness & Collaboration enabled by Connectivity’, was published in October 2019 and sets out the case for a State change in higher education reform for the delivery of national strategic priorities.
This calls for a greater degree of connectedness and collaboration among HEIs across Ireland, particularly at a regional level.
In total, €90 million is expected to be allocated across the lifetime of the Technological University Transformation Fund (TUTF) announced in budget 2020, over the course of three years.
This “unparalled Government investment” will help deliver the strategic objectives laid out in the TURN report Minister Harris said.
“This investment will help deliver for the benefit of the West & North-West communities and Ireland internationally.”