A draft order seeking the establishment of Ireland’s first technological university was approved in the Dáil earlier this month.
The order, written up by then Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, in July, will see the three current institute of technologies, Blanchardstown IT, Tallaght IT and Dublin Institute of Technology, dissolve and form one Technological University to be headquartered out of DIT’S Grangegorman campus.
The new institution will be named Technological University Dublin, with the translation to Irish being ‘Teicneolaíochta Bhaile Átha Cliath’.
The provision for the creation of technological universities under the Technological Universities Act 2018 is thought to be a key element of the government’s plan to drive balanced economic growth and to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026.
Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor believes the opening of the new technological university will mark a milestone in Irish higher education.
“The establishment of Technological University Dublin, the first ever technological university in the history of the state, on 1 January 2019, will be a milestone date and event in the evolution of the Irish higher education sector,” said Mitchell O’Connor.
The new university is set to become Ireland’s largest with approximately 28,000 students expected to be registered. It will provide programmes from level six to eight on the National Framework of Qualifications, as well as facilitating level nine and ten programmes at post graduate level.
“The new university will develop and use new knowledge through industry focused research and will enhance the pivotal regional and national role traditionally played by the Institutes of Technology in facilitating the widest possible access and progression by students of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds through a multiplicity of full-time, part-time, blended and online learning approaches,” added Mitchell O’Connor.
Students currently registered, including those in their final year of study, with the three institutions will all receive Technological University degrees as opposed to the awards previously given by the Institutes of Technology.
Shane Gill, a final year student studying Construction Management in DIT, believes the development of the new Technological University will propel DIT, along with the other two institutions, to a whole new level.
“DIT is already a well-recognised institution internationally, but now alongside Blanchardstown and Tallaght ITs, the creation of this first ever Technological University will propel it onto an even higher platform in terms of its educational reputation”.
“It’s fantastic that I will now be graduating from a university as opposed to an institute of technology,” added Gill.
Image credit: Mikey Walsh