HEA will Provide €25.67m Transformation Funding to Develop TUs

8th September 2021

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has announced it will provide €25.67m in ‘transformation funding’ to several Irish Technological Universities.

Today’s funding announcement will build on the €34.33m already allocated to TUs in 2020 as part of the Technological University Transformation Fund (TUTF).

The funds will help the higher education institutions such as the soon-to-open TU of the Shannon in its post-establishment development. Munster Technological University (MTU), which was established in January 2021, is due to receive a €4.55m funding boost for this academic year.

The TUTF fund originated as part of Budget 2020. As part of last year’s budget, the Government announced the launch of a major multi-annual transformation fund of €90m for technological universities over three years.

The HEA is responsible for the fund’s implementation, with presidents from the TUs acting together in an advisory capacity. The advisory group, called Technological University Research Network (TURN), issued a report in 2019 containing 12 recommendations for the development of TUs.

TURN’s report, ‘Connectedness and Collaboration enabled by Connectivity’ recommended the following: increasing investment in researchers, investment in digital infrastructure, prioritising capital investment in TUs, reforming the grant allocation model to include TUs and the creation of a dedicated TU funding stream.

CEO of the HEA, Dr Alan Wall, said that despite a difficult year, significant strides had been made towards the objectives set out in the TURN report. He said the HEA would support the new TUs to “deliver tangible results for their regions.”

The Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris is currently dealing with applications for TU designation from IT Carlow and Waterford IT (hoping to become the TU of South-East Ireland (TUSEI) consortium; and Galway-Mayo IT, Letterkenny IT and IT Sligo (hoping to become the Connaught Ulster Alliance (CUA) consortium.

Dundalk IT and the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dun Laoghaire are both exploring their options to gain TU status also.

Source: Silicon Republic