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Number of technical universities in Ireland will increase from two to five next year

Three new technical universities are likely to be opened in Ireland early next year. This will raise the number of technical universities from two to five.

The decision was confirmed yesterday by Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris and Minister of State Niall Collins, while speaking at the Oireachtas Committee on Education. Both ministers described the changes as a “radical shift” in the higher education landscape.

Simon Harris says that the new universities will be established in the Mid-West, North-West and South-East.

A technical university for the Midlands and Midwest is likely to be established in September this year. It will be based on the merger of the Athlone Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology.

Applications for the two other bodies, the Connacht-Ulster Alliance and the South East, are expected in the coming months and are likely to be established by January 2022.

The Connacht-Ulster alliance includes the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, the Letterkenny Institute of Technology and the IT Sligo. The South East comprises the Waterford Institute of Technology and the Carlow Institute of Technology. The two will be merged by Dublin Technological University and Munster Technological University.

These new universities will offer a wide range of qualifications, from apprenticeships to PhDs.

Niall Collins said the creation of technical universities will enhance the strength of the sector. He added that this will connect them with the strength of traditional universities, more theoretical research, state of the art facilities and international reach.

Mr. Harris said the concept of a technological university was founded on a fusion of equality and dignity. He hopes everyone will try to help and move forward with the proposals positively.

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