Thursday, 26 October 2017
Department of Education and Skills
102. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to use national capital investment to create a south eastern university drawing upon existing institute of technology campuses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45524/17]
107. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the upcoming national capital investment projects at institutes of technology will examine creating a south eastern university using Carlow, Wexford and Waterford campuses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45556/17]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 102 and 107 together.
The Technological University for the South-East (TUSE) consortium comprises of WITand IT Carlow. There is a commitment from the leadership in both institutions to make a joint submission for a Technological University of the South-East region.To date the HEA has provided the TUSE consortium with €0.57mfor TU project development. The HEA has made a 2017 call seeking submissions for funding from consortia earlier this month. Some €6m in funding is available in this call including €4m which was ring-fenced for the development of technological universities in Budget 2017. Additional funding for the development of technological universities has also been secured in Budget 2018
I announced on 16 October a significant capital investment programme in Institutes of Technology, to be delivered by Public Private Partnership (PPP). I am pleased that major new buildings in both WIT and IT Carlow will be included as part of this Programme. The WIT proposal relates to the construction of a new engineering, computing and general teaching building. The IT Carlow proposal relates to the construction of a new science building. Both projects will be the subject of ongoing technical appraisal and economic analysis to ensure value for money is achieved.
I am confident that these new buildings will greatly enhance the physical infrastructure available to the Institutions in areas of key skills needs, and will support their joint bid for Technological University designation.
My Department is also supportive of the proposed acquisition by IT Carlow of a site in Wexford for development of a new purpose-built campus. Funding has been allocated to enable IT Carlow to acquire this site.