Minister of State John Halligan says money will be available to develop and expand the proposed Technological University for the South East (TUSE).
The Technological Universities Bill has been signed into law by President Higgins, paving the way for Institutes of Technology, including in Waterford, to be re-designated with TU status.
Applications must now be submitted to the Higher Education Authority for assessment by an international panel.
Minister Halligan says additional funding has been confirmed for the TU sector, as part of the National Planning Framework. He says the TUSE is a government priority.
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has also welcomed the enactment of the TU Bill. However, it has warned that the TUs will require significant public investment if they are to reach the scale needed to attract top academic talent and compete in the challenging international research environment.
John Farrell, Ibec South East Regional Director stated: “It is critical that that the new TU designation is not a relabelling exercise of existing institutes of technology. The change of status should drive improved performance while stimulating the development of a new type of institution with a distinct mission and character that differentiates it from existing universities. These include a strong regional and enterprise focus.
“The TU offers considerable scope to improve how business and education institutions work together on a range of issues including the development of more ‘work-ready’ graduates, employee upskilling, more effective knowledge transfer and an emphasis on close-to-market research. This will require a step-change in scale and capability.”