The Technological Universities Bill passed through all stages in the Dáil last night and moves a step closer to enactment. If enacted, the Bill will develop technological universities, a new type of higher education institution.
Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, called the passing of the Bill a “significant milestone”. She continued: “The Technological Universities Bill is a high priority for government so I’m delighted to have steered the Bill successfully through the Dáil. I look forward to discussing the Bill with senators in the coming weeks.”
She said that the creation of these institutions “provides the opportunity to drive regional development and provide more opportunities for individuals, enterprise and the community”. The Bill will now progress to the next stage of the legislative process in the Seanad which is scheduled to occur next week.
Four bodies are in the process of becoming designated technological universities. €6.3 million has been allocated to support the development of these bodies, one of which is the Technological University for Dublin (TU4 Dublin). This will involve the amalgamation of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT) and Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB). The proposed headquarters for the technological university is at Grangegorman Campus in Dublin.
DIT academics have previously expressed dissatisfaction with their role in the process of creating the new technological university, arguing that they were being excluded from the discussions.