The Technological University for Dublin Alliance has submitted a formal application to the Minister for Education and Skills to seek designation as the first technological university (TU) in Ireland.
The application, submitted jointly by DIT, IT Blanchardstown and IT Tallaght, will be considered against criteria established under the new Technological Universities Act 2018. The HEA will now invite an independent international panel to visit Dublin to evaluate the application. The HEA will consider the Panel’s report and will make a recommendation to the Minister for Education and Skills. The Minister will take the final decision on designation before the end of the year.
“The submission of our technological university application represents a significant milestone for our three institutions and all those involved, whose hard work and commitment over seven years has brought the project to this point. This university has the potential to be ground-breaking by providing a new, flexible teaching and learning framework to students that is informed by research and offers opportunities for students to pursue diverse programmes across the range of levels on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The train is now very much in motion as we look ahead to demonstrating that the TU4Dublin project meets the standards necessary to become Ireland's first technological university,” Professor Tom Collins, chair of the Joint Governing Bodies Strategy Steering Group said.
Professor Brian Norton, President of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), said: “Our submission envisages a technological university for Dublin that combines both theoretical and practical approaches to learning, whether in apprenticeship or PhD programmes, underpinned by a strong research base. It will support entrepreneurship, skills and business development, through excellence in teaching and knowledge transfer and our students and researchers will become the ‘makers and do-ers’ in a new economy. As a new type of university, it can be both complementary and transformative for higher education in this country. We are committed to showing that our extensive preparatory work equips us to make this a successful application.”
President of IT Tallaght (ITT) Mr Thomas Stone said: “This potential new technological university in Dublin would have a population of over 28,500 students, including significant numbers of mature students, international students, and a strong research community located across our campuses in Grangegorman, Tallaght, and Blanchardstown. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a higher-education system that is inclusive and reflects the educational demands and economic needs of Ireland in the twenty-first century. I am truly excited about the synergies and capacity for innovation across diverse disciplines such as business, law, the arts & humanities, STEM, ICT, health and welfare that will emerge if we are successful in our application.”
Dr Diarmuid O’Callaghan, President IT Blanchardstown (ITB), said: “Our ambition for Dublin is to join those well-established technological universities internationally which have made immensely positive contributions towards the economic, cultural and societal vibrancy of their local cities and regions. Already our three amalgamating institutions (DIT, ITB and ITT) have a history of partnership with local communities, businesses, and many other organisations and stakeholders. These links will only be strengthened by a new technological university in Dublin which has the potential to be transformative in terms of the overall social, cultural and economic impact on the Greater Dublin Region and for the international competitiveness of higher education in Ireland.”
The TU4Dublin project, which originated with the publication of the Hunt Report, began in 2011 when DIT, ITB and ITT signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the Technological University for Dublin Alliance. Since then the three members of the Alliance have collaborated to develop a programme of partnership with the objective of seeking TU designation. Dr Mary Meaney, TU4Dublin Programme Lead, said “Submitting our application is a major milestone, but it is just the first step. Over the last number of months, in particular, there has been intensive engagement by academic and professional services colleagues across the three institutions in its preparation, and that has ignited a strong belief in what we can achieve together. We are looking forward to the next stage and meeting the international panel.”