Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Department of Education and Skills
1146. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the measures he is taking to ensure that the Institute of Technology Tralee and Cork Institute of Technology merger to Munster Technological University is balanced and fair; if reassurance will be given to all stakeholders that both former institutes are fairly represented now and in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15073/21]
The Government has a very clear ambition to expand and consolidate higher education facilities, to boost economic development across the country and to attract research funding. Technological Universities are central to delivering on this. MTU will be a driver of regional development, and it will help to make higher education more accessible.
Above all else it will provide more opportunities for individuals, enterprise, communities and stakeholders in the south west region. MTU will offer its students a wide and diverse range of programmes from Level 6 to Level 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications, from apprenticeships to doctoral degrees.
The Department and the HEA are in ongoing engagement with MTU in relation to campus development plans across all MTU locations and I am keen to see increased investment in the MTU campuses in Tralee and Cork. For example, we are currently examining a proposed building for delivery at the MTU Tralee north campus will consist of labs, agri-machinery workshops, classroom spaces and Ancillary Space. The Tralee Public Private Partnership (PPP) building is the second largest in the overall PPP Programme of 11 projects at 9,042m2. It delivers a duel requirements of upgraded STEM space as well as enabling the consolidation from the south to north campus. A new 6,567m2 Learning Resource Centre is planned for MTU Cork campus. This will consist of classrooms, learning resource spaces, administration space and ancillary space.