GMIT has taken a step forward towards its goal of becoming a technological university, with a formal application expected next year.
The governing bodies of GMIT, IT Sligo, and Letterkenny IT met in Donegal recently and agreed to submit and application to the Department of Education for TU status in Autumn 2020.
These three ITs together make up the Connacht-Ulster Alliance, and have been working together to jointly become a technological university serving the north and west of Ireland.
The meeting in Donegal, the first of its kind, was meant to clarify their next steps and the future governance, academic and organisational structures of the new TU.
“This is a very significant movement towards the CUA’s joint ambition to become a Technological University as it demonstrates the cohesiveness of the CUA to act as one new emerging entity”, says Dr Michael Hannon, Acting President of GMIT.
He said that having a technological university would be socially and economically advantageous to a region that often loses out.
“There is an imbalance across the country in terms of population distribution, levels of employment, regional incomes and the education qualifications profile.”
“The current pace of development of industry in geographical centres other than the West/North-West is not consistent with long term economic, social and cultural regional balance.
“There is an opportunity now to greatly improve the ability of the West/North West region to grow at a faster pace by providing local access across the region to university education which will attract and cater for students of all levels.”
The technological university will also help improve on career prospects in the region with businesses whose development is supported by the TU.
The new proposed Technological University for the West/North West will have eight campuses stretching from Letterkenny to Galway.