The Technological University of South East Ireland (TUSEI) consortium has welcomed the announcement last week of higher education landscape reform funding in support of the TUSEI project.
Altogether €2m in dedicated funding has been allocated to take the project to the next stage of development.
Overall, €11.8m in funding was allocated to technological universities in a funding announcement from the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD.
President of IT Carlow, Dr Patricia Mulcahy, said: "This funding comes at a critical time for the TUSEI project. It will enable us to move to the next stage in institutional change - further mobilisation of our 1,900 staff, our 17,000 students and our many stakeholders, in support of important integration activity.
"This is an essential part of our journey towards a unitary multi-campus technological university of scale and impact, within the regional, national and international context. We thank Minister McHugh and Minister Mitchell O’Connor for their continued support."
President of WIT, Professor Willie Donnelly, said: "We warmly welcome this allocation of funding as an indication of confidence by government in WIT and IT Carlow to deliver a university for the south east.
"This funding allocation will allow us build on the momentum to date and accelerate the project to completion.
"Together with all our stakeholders across the region, we are impatient for the delivery of a much-needed university for the south east, a critical element in delivering on the government’s ambitions for the region as set out in Project Ireland 2040 and absolutely essential to secure the economic future of the region."
The release of this landscape funding follows the announcement in Budget 2020 of €90 million in funding in support of Technological Universities for the period to 2022.
The funding allocated is earmarked for supporting the appointment of key personnel to manage and direct the TU project, specifically to complete the application process and oversee the validation of the application by an international review group.
The funding will also be used to support staff involvement and engagement in the process through a detailed change management project.
Prof Donnelly added: "We are very clear in our planning that the staff of the two institutes have to be central to the future organisation; after all, it is through the efforts of staff over decades that we are in a position to make a legitimate claim to be operating at university level."
Dr Mulcahy added: "Throughout all of our work towards the creation of TUSEI, we have remained deeply learner centred and inclusive. As we continue our important work, we acknowledge and thank all of our staff and our many supporters for their invaluable contributions and commitment."
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