Families who are sending students to Dundalk IT ‘need TU status for the college’ according to Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú who raised the Technological University in Leinster House with Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris.
The Sinn Féin TD said: ‘I have a specific question about technological university status for Dundalk Institute of Technology, DkIT, which he visited recently.
‘I have had my own meetings lately at which I have heard some positive information in regard to criteria being met. However, there still are major worries.
‘There have been a number of missteps and we know the route map will be through the provisions of section 38 of the Technological Universities Act 2018. We need to ensure it happens.
‘The Minister probably has met those involved with the regional development centre and has seen the huge impact DkIT is having in regard to research, the whole M1 Border corridor area and also in regard to business innovation, including its involvement with Enterprise Ireland and all the other agencies.
‘The one point everybody involved makes is the absolute necessity of ensuring DkIT reaches technological university status. Parents and students need that too’.
Minister Harris said he had been ‘expecting’ Deputy Ó Murchú to raise DkIT and said that progress is being made by the IT towards TU status.
He said: ‘To be clear, the north east must not be left behind and it needs a technological university. Of that there is no doubt.
‘I visited DkIT briefly in recent weeks. I was pleased to have an opportunity to talk to Dr. Ruairí Nevin there, who is the expert adviser from the HEA.
‘We have provided funding through the technological university transformation fund, TUTF.
‘Between the funding and the expert advice, I am told progress is being made. Obviously, I will believe that when I see it and I must wait to receive the information and for the evaluation to take place.
‘When any information is received, I want the Deputy and DkIT to know it will be treated with the utmost urgency and priority with a view to making progress. I will keep in touch with the Deputy on the matter.”