The Technological Universities Act 2018 has been passed by the Oireachtas, in a move welcomed by the Technological University Alliance for Dublin.
Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, passed the act, with president Michael D Higgins signing it into law.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor said that the act is a ‘transformative piece of legislation’, and that the creation of technological universities in Ireland provides ‘opportunity’ for regional development.
“The Technological Universities legislation has been a high priority for this Government and will radically change the higher education landscape.
“The legislation will underpin the development of a new type of higher education institution, building on the strengths and mission of institutes of technology to develop world class technological universities,” Minister Mitchell O’Connor said.
“The creation of technological universities provides the opportunity to drive regional development and provide more opportunities for individuals, enterprise and the community.
“These institutions will have significant impact and influence regionally, nationally and internationally,” she said.
Applications for Technological University status can now be submitted to the Higher Education Authority for assessment by an international panel of experts.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor says that she expects the first of these applications to be submitted in the coming months with a view to establishing the first Technological University this year.
The Technological University Alliance, which includes Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT), Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), now plan to bring the Technological University for Dublin (TU4Dublin) project to fruition to create Ireland’s first technological university.
President of DIT, Brian Norton, has said that the passing of the act is an ‘exciting milestone’ for education in Ireland.
“This is an exciting milestone that now paves the way for us to take the final step towards application for designation as a Technological University here in Dublin.
We have been laying the groundwork for some time in this respect and we believe that a successful application for TU designation will be transformative in terms of the overall social, cultural and economic impact in the Greater Dublin Region and for the international competitiveness of higher education in Ireland,” Norton said.
Norton’s statement was echoed by the president of ITB, Dr Diarmuid O’Callaghan, who added that the TU4Dublin project will aim to help students ‘build rewarding’ careers during their time at the technological university.
“The TU4Dublin project has the ambition of meeting the diverse needs of learners in a rapidly changing knowledge environment that helps them build rewarding and meaningful careers in the global knowledge economy,” he said.