Government Plan To Dissolve Majority Of Irish Institutes of Technology Gears Up

Government Plan To Dissolve Majority Of Irish Institutes of Technology Gears Up

They say that desperate times call for desperate measures. Well, surely it then follows that times requiring a mild structural reworking of the educational framework of some Irish third-level institutions call for measures amounting to a mild structural reworking of said Irish third-level institutions. This is one of those times. The following are those measures.

The move to dissolve several of the institutes of technology in Ireland and amalgamate them into various 'Technological Universities' has been in the works since 2014. In the last few months however the move toward the creation of these 'Technological Universities' has gathered steam/pace/momentum - depending on you preference of platitudinous phrasing.

As it stands this bill is set to impact 10 Institutes of Technology in Ireland. Those concerned are set to be merged into four separate Technological Universities, determined by their geographical location. Dublin Institute of Technology; the humorously acronymised Tallaght Institute of Technology, and Institute of Technology Blanchardstown are set to become 'TU4Dublin'.

In the West the Institute of Technology Sligo, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and Letterkenny Institute of Technology are set to be merged into 'The Connacht Ulster Alliance' - a working title that sounds far more like some sort of Sinn Féin wet dream rather than a third-level educational institution.

Waterford Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology Carlow are set to become the 'Technological University of the South-East'. While the Munster Technological University will be created out of the merging of Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee.

Well, after that whirlwind, if the words 'Institute', 'Technology' or 'University' still mean anything to you, and seeing them written down doesn't fill you with a desire to scream agonisingly into the dark void where your own soul used to live, then my hearty congratulations to you.


While several already existing universities in Ireland have voiced their concerns over the legislative basis for the Technological Universities Bill - which theoretically gives the HEA greater investigative powers to assess and intervene in various supposed inefficiencies - it has moved closer to being implemented. In January the Technological Universities Bill was passed through the Dáil and is now being debated by the Séanad, before being signed into effect.

I am about to write something that I never thought I would write. Something that if I, even at the beginning of today, could've fast-forwarded to now and seen myself write down, would've caused my past-self to spit in the face of my present-self in disgust, leading to a very confusing conflict scene where my two selves - one drenched in the spit of the other - have to discuss whether time-travel is actually possible and if not precisely which of the two of us is the one having the catastrophic mental breakdown and imagining the other. Thankfully, this does not seem to have happened. What I wanted to impart to you was this; if you've a few minutes to kill it is very much worth checking out this transcript of the Séanad debate on the Bill from February 7. It descends into farce several times and reads like a draft script from The Thick Of It.

The reasons behind the drive to create these 'Technological Universities' are numerous. A desire for graduates of these institutions to be accredited with university degrees is perhaps the foremost, while it will also help prevent duplicate courses being offered by numerous institutions all within spitting distance of one another. It will allow for funding to be better utilised between these institutions as well as allowing for greater course specialisation.

The Bill is in its final stages before being ratified, the move to functionally merge the institute of technology will occur once this has happened.

Also Read: Green Goals: Irish University Plans Ban On Takeaway Cups

Rory McNab

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