For Oral Answer on : 18/10/2022
Question Number(s): 93 Question Reference(s): 51634/22
Department: Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Further and Higher Education; Research; Innovation and Science his views on the further development of the technological universities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Technological Universities have the potential to significantly enhance progress in the delivery of national and regional priorities. This include access to higher education, research-informed teaching and learning, research capacity building, increased support for enterprise and skills development, and enhancement of socio-economic progress and regional development.
We have now successfully established a network of 5 Technological Universities across some 25 campuses, including historically a university presence in the South East for the first time. The focus of the pivotal ‘post-establishment’ TU phase is now on enabling these new higher education institutions to deliver on their functions and specific regional missions.
The Department and the Higher Education Authority will be supporting the TUs to achieve the transformation necessary to deliver on these goals. The Higher Education Public Private Partnership programme has a specific focus on enhancing infrastructure in the TU sector, with projects planned to enter construction next year. An ambitious new phase of capital development is also being advanced through the Technological Sector Strategic Projects Fund. Work is also taking place on related agendas including physical and digital infrastructure and borrowing frameworks.
Work on an OECD review of academic contract, career structures and leadership in TUs is approaching completion. I intend to bring the finalised OECD report to Government later this year and I intend to subsequently publish the report. Implementation of these recommendations will be critical to ensuring they are equipped to deliver on their mission and wider strategic objectives.
Significant Exchequer funding continues to be used to support development and transformation of TUs. The third tranche of allocations from the Technological University Transformation Fund, a €90 million 3-year fund to support TU transformation, will also be announced by the HEA in the coming weeks. This is in addition to significant EU funding, including €40 million through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which will support TU development over the coming years.