Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Department of Education and Skills
316. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the application by the Munster technological university consortium on behalf of Cork IT and Tralee IT to become a technological university; if the implementation of the recommendations of the international advisory panel as endorsed by the HEA and him have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis; the revised timeline to allow each of the recommendations to be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5457/20]
In accordance with section 34(4) of the Technological Universities Act 2018 on 30 September 2019 the Minister for Education and Skills wrote to the applicant institutes Cork IT and IT Tralee confirming his proposed decision to postpone the granting of the institutes’ application seeking the making of an order under section 36 of the Act for the establishment of a technological university. In his letter the Minister requested the institutes to provide additional data and information demonstrating their joint compliance with a number of specified conditions no later than the end of Quarter 1 2020. The Minister’s proposed decision was based on the views of the Higher Education Authority and an advisory panel of international experts appointed by the Minister to assess the application in accordance with section 31(3) of the Act.
The applicant institutes submitted their joint response to the Minister on 30 March 2020. As required by section 35(3)(b) of the Act the Minister is considering the information furnished by the applicant institutes and consulting with the Qualifications and Quality Assurance Authority of Ireland and with the Higher Education Authority. While not a legal requirement under the Act, I understand that the Higher Education Authority has sought views from the previous advisory panel of international experts to help inform their advices to the Minister.
The legal decision-making process is currently ongoing in compliance with the statutory requirements and timelines provided for in the Technological Universities Act 2018. The process remains unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic with the work involved being progressed through written procedures and via remote access interactions, as appropriate.