Thursday, 8 February 2024
Department of Education and Skills
346. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 200 of 31 January 2024, to outline the research and research processes that underpin this reply, particularly the general sentiment that recruitment, rather than applications in the TU sector is positive since their individual inception and the specific explanatory rationale for the recent decline proffered. [5941/24]
347. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 200 of 31 January 2024, and the technological sector advancement fund referenced therein which is purported to provide €50 million to continue to assist new technological universities in their post-establishment phase; the amount of disbursed monies from this fund; the precise total funds amount approved to each TU to date, in tabular form; will the Minister comment as to where exceptionalism is being demonstrated by him and his Department in terms of this funding disbursement to recognise the unique deficit the southeast region suffers given that it has no National University institution to support third level delivery unlike the other regions of the country; his plans to further enforce exceptional funding to the southeast region because of this known deficit and regional imbalance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5942/24]
As requested, tabular data on the monies dispersed under the Technological Sector Advancement Fund is laid out below:
Technological University TSAF Allocations and Year 1 Payments
|TSAF Year 1 Payments
|Balance to be allocated
As may be seen from the table, €9,500,000 has been ring-fenced for South East Technological University, of which over €6 million has already been paid out- an equivalent investment to that in Technological University Dublin, and ahead of other technological universities.
The Government has delivered a university presence to the South East spanning four campus locations for the first time in the history of the State. The South East Technological University (SETU) established on 1 May 2022 is the third largest technological university and enables students in the South East to study and gain qualifications at all levels of the NFQ, up to and including doctoral degrees, in their own region. SETU is also a catalyst for regional development and socio-economic progress in the South East.
The Department also remains committed to providing capital funding supports to SETU. For example, the new Engineering, Computing and General Teaching building which is planned for SETU Waterford Campus is progressing as part of bundle II of the 'Higher Education PPP Programme'. This building will add significant capacity to the campus to help address increased demand. SETU Waterford Campus expansion and SETU Wexford Campus are both being progressed under the TSSPF framework.