Accreditation of the technical university for GMIT “a game changer”

WORK TOGETHERPictured are three CUA Presidents and Executive Project Leader in last week’s announcement, from left: Paul Hannigan, President of Letterkenny IT; Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT; Dr Seán Duffy, CUA Executive Project Manager, and Dr Brendan McCormack, President of IT Sligo.

Anton mcnulty

The new Northwestern Technological University will be a game-changer for the region’s development both in terms of education and attracting investment.
This is the opinion of Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, who together with Sligo IT and Letterkenny IT has successfully applied to become a technological university.
Higher and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Minister Simon Harris, TD, on Thursday announced the new Northwestern Technological University, which will be established early next year. The minister also confirmed that the multi-campus university will include locations in Castlebar, Galway, City, Sligo, Letterkenny, Killybegs, Letterfrack and Mountbellew.
Speaking to The Mayo News, Dr Flynn said that establishing a technology university for the Northwest is extremely important and believes it will be a game-changer when it comes to the development of the region.
“This is extremely important because when you look at the map of the Republic of Ireland, even now, if you draw a line from Maynooth to Galway, north of it, there is no real academic presence. . There are many indicators that would show that having a university as a primary tenant will help attract and retain talent.
“Our young people can receive a university education in the region and our presence and engagement with industry will increase employment opportunities in the region. In turn, growth and research activities will enable us to be net importers of talent in the region. Certainly, if we look back 20 years from now, we will highlight our designation as a technological university as a true game changer for the region in this regard, ”she explained.
The new North West University of Technology will become Ireland’s fourth University of Technology since 2019. The merger between the three Institutes of Technology is known as the Connacht / Ulster Alliance (CUA) and the new University of Technology will offer nearly 600 programs. from pre-graduation to doctoral studies to a student body of 20,000 students supported by more than 2,200 staff.
AUC met with an international advisory group in June to advocate for a technology university for the region. The panel report contained a number of positive findings regarding the AUC candidacy, particularly the depth of evidence of strong ties to business, company, professions, community, local interests and other parties. regional stakeholders; the strength of the response to local and regional needs through program development and lifelong learning activity; and the inclusive nature of internal engagement structures with effective consultation with staff and student unions.

Sophisticated needs
Dr Flynn said all three institutes of technology have been working on the project for the past decade and that a new university of technology is needed to meet demand from modern industry.
“The new technological university will always exist to meet the needs of the region, but the needs of the region have become more sophisticated. There are now companies that still want technicians, but they also want higher level employees and graduates who will go on and engage in more research and innovation in the companies themselves. The emphasis is on research and innovation in collaboration with industry and this is how we evolve as the needs of our region evolve.
“The merger allows us to harness all the different strengths that we have. There are particular strengths in Sligo that we don’t have in GMIT but now with the Tech University if a company is interested in placing you in these areas we can say that we have strengths in Sligo in these areas or even Letterkenny or Galway. We will be able to harness all the strengths of the university and support all businesses based anywhere in the region, ”she explained.
The news that GMIT’s Castlebar campus will continue to encompass the new multi-campus university was widely praised in Mayo and Dr Flynn said she was confident Castlebar would benefit from the new setup.
“We expect the programs to be attractive and the ability to attend a university in Castlebar will make Castlebar a more attractive destination to come and study. We also expect stakeholders in the Castlebar area to have access to all the assets of the entire university, not just the assets that exist on the Castlebar campus.
The news was also welcomed by student unions from all three TIs who, in a joint statement, described the news as an “important opportunity” for all current and future students at the new tech university.


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