By Emma Jane Hade
Three Dublin based institutes of technology are together hoping to create a ground breaking new “technological university”.
Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) and Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT), are working together to create what they believe to be a hub for technology.
The Department of Education are unlikely to be supportive as they believe there is no need for the establishment of new universities.
However, this move will put pressure on the department, both from Dublin based universities as well as Waterford Institute of Technology, who have made previous attempts at redesignation. They believe that the redesignation would be hugely beneficial to the South-East, giving a great boost to the local economy.
ITs have come under fire in recent years, with claims that they have lost their focus. These colleges now offer a broad range of courses in humanities and other areas. This is in stark contrast to their original initiative of supporting industry.
Though the establishment of new universities was omitted from the Hunt report, the possibility of redesignating ITs was not ruled out, on the basis that some stern criteria were met.
The Hunt report stated that the establishment of “technological universities” must focus on “workplace learning” as well concentrating on programmes in “science, engineering and technology.”
The Dublin Alliance believes that by establishing a technological university that “the whole can become greater than the sum of the parts.”
Former Higher Education Authority chair, Michael Kelly, who leads the Dublin Alliance, claims that the establishment of the technological university will offer “exciting prospects for all”, as well as “enriching the quality of teaching and learning, research and discovery, and civic and corporate engagement.”