Thursday, 22 October 2015
Order of Business
I take the opportunity to welcome the Connaught-Ulster Alliance's first step towards a technological university. It has been given approval by the Higher Education Authority and the Minister for Education and Skills. The alliance is made up of IT Sligo, Letterkenny IT and GMIT in Galway. While they have been, if one likes, last to the table on the technological university front, it is good news that they are now moving to stage 2. This will require them to put together a detailed plan to show how they will come together as partners to create a new technological university for the west and north west. It is an obvious thing to say that it would bring great benefits to the economy and the type of educational opportunities available to our young people in the north west if they succeed with this plan. Will the Acting Leader arrange a debate on this issue? I appreciate the Minister for Education and Skills is due to bring the technological universities Bill forward in the near future but it would be a good idea to have a debate on the way technological universities will open a whole new way to educate young people. We would have the best of what institutes of technology currently offer but what they do would be extended and expanded, in particular when they are looking for collaborative opportunities in Ireland and beyond. We should have a chance to debate this change to the educational landscape in Ireland prior to the Bill.