New university will be a 'driver' for Cork and the region

New university will be a 'driver' for Cork and the region
CIT Bishopstown, Cork. Aerial Picture,Picture: Denis Scannell

Munster’s technological university will offer students in Cork and the wider South West region “an array of opportunities”, according to the project leader of the consortium made up of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and IT Tralee.

The Department of Education granted Technological University status to the consortium yesterday afternoon.

The Government confirmed that the two applicant institutes have demonstrated compliance and met the conditions set down for a merger to create the Munster Technological University (MTU).

The project leader of the MTU and lecturer at CIT, Hugh McGlynn, said the only technological university outside Dublin is “great news for the south-west region” and will give the country the “regional development” it needs.

He said that the move will enhance the reputation of students, improve conditions, secure better funding streams, and better campus development.

Prof McGlynn said that post-Covid-19, MTU will be a “driver for regional development, growth, and opportunities” for the 15,300 students enrolled in CIT and IT Tralee.

President of CIT, Barry O’Connor, said the designation of CIT and IT Tralee together as the MTU is a “vote of confidence”.

Students will have access to a broader range of educational opportunities with over 140 courses and programmes on offer across six campuses in Cork and Kerry.

CIT’s Bishopstown campus, Cork School of Music, Crawford College of Art and Design, the National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy, and IT Tralee’s north and south campuses all come under the umbrella of MTU.

Prof McGlynn added: “Technological universities operate from apprentices to PhDs and everything in between so there’s an array of opportunities for people looking to reskill.”

The education minister previously delayed his decision on the TU proposal in July 2019. The minister said despite the “lack of clear vision and strategy” that the MTU submission contained at that time, that the Government was “strongly committed to the establishment of MTU as a key priority”. The Oireachtas will now approve a ministerial order with MTU getting recognition from January 1.

Prof McGlynn said students will continue to apply to CIT and IT Tralee through the CAO and register as students of the institutes before rolling over as MTU students on January 1. 

He said CIT and IT Tralee are expecting student numbers to rise by 8% over the next number of years under technological university status and a new campus development plan will see a physical infrastructural plan for all campuses to “improve facilities and the physical environment to enhance student experience”.

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