New "College of the Future" to be developed in Bishopstown

Cork’s College of FET is one of ten locations across the country that has been chosen to develop a further education “College of the Future”.
New "College of the Future" to be developed in Bishopstown

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, made the announcement on a visit to the Bishopstown Campus on Thursday, saying it was a “brilliant day for Cork”.

It has been announced that a new “College of the Future” is to be developed in Cork, for the Further Education and Training (FET) sector.

The new centre is set to be developed on the Bishopstown Campus of the Cork College of FET, and will include a Digital Technology Teaching and Learning Centre, additional accommodation for apprenticeships, an integrated FET management and support hub, an Employer Hub as well as a “Future Skills Centre”.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, made the announcement on a visit to the Bishopstown Campus on Thursday, saying it was a “brilliant day for Cork”.

“Cork has been leading the way on creating a unified third level system that meets the needs of the region it serves. The College of the Future Major Projects Fund will support the implementation of the vision set out in the Further Education Strategy,” he said.

“This Fund, including the proposed for development in Cork has the potential to deliver on a range of strategic objectives. It is great that the Cork proposal will now proceed to Preliminary Business Case stage,” he added.

Cork’s College of FET is one of ten locations across the country that has been chosen to develop a further education “College of the Future”.

Cork ETB provides education, training and youth services across Cork, including further education and training through the Cork College of FET.

The college provides full-time and part-time courses across seven Cork campuses, focusing on meeting specific learner needs, linked to skills acquisition for employment, or to the possibility of progression to further studies. 

Minister Harris also announced a second significant project for the college’s Mallow campus, where a new Youthreach facility is to be developed.

The Mallow Campus development will provide for a new purpose-built centre, that will incorporate accommodation for a new Youthreach Centre and Adult and Community Education Centre, allowing for a fully integrated FET programme to be delivered on campus.

The two announced education projects are part of the national strategy for Further Education and Training.

Cork Education and Training Board (ETB) has welcomed the announcement, and heralded the significant investment of over €55 million as “testament to the commitment to the reshaping and realigning of services to ensure that the needs of current and future learners, employers and communities are met”.

Denis Leamy, Chief Executive of Cork ETB, said that the Minister’s announcement is “warmly and enthusiastically welcomed by Cork ETB”.

“This is an important milestone in support of our ambitions to provide a service to the people and communities across the region that can deliver the education and training services that are required at a local level, that are easily accessible, and have the most modern and up to date facilities possible,” he said.

“It validates and supports our initiative to develop Cork College of FET as an exemplar of what the FET College of the Future can be,” he added.

Cork ETB has a number of other projects in the planning process under the Strategic Infrastructure Upgrade Fund (SIUF), including one for a new Youthreach Centre in Macroom and significant refurbishment projects at a number of Cork College of FET Campuses and Centres.

Minister Harris has indicated that the Macroom development will shortly be approved by his Department to progress to the acquisition of a suitable site, which has also been welcomed by Cork ETB.

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