Minister Joe McHugh has confirmed that LYIT is to benefit from further Government funding of €250,000 to support its cross-border links.
The college is to receive the funding shortly and is in line for continued Government support on cross-border links and transformation to Technological University
Mr McHugh said: “This €250,000 funding is to help support projects that focus on students and that will open up pathways for young people to move into higher education at LYIT.
“It’s also important to note that the money will help support students trying to get into LYIT from non-traditional routes and go further in education and training on a cross-border basis.”
Mr McHugh, Government Chief Whip, said: “This funding will see LYIT deepen its partnership with University of Ulster and colleges on either side of the border in the North-West, including the North West Regional College and Donegal Education and Training Board.
“Ultimately, financial backing like this helps LYIT to strengthen the cross border reach of the Connacht Ulster Alliance, the Technological University consortium involving Letterkenny, the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Sligo.
“Transforming colleges and Institutes of Technology is a huge part of this Government’s ambitious plan for third level education.
“LYIT already secured share of a €1.8million funding package this year to drive the Tech Uni plan on top of the €2.12million that was awarded last year.
“LYIT’s team, including president Paul Hannigan, deserve huge credit for the work that is going on behind the scenes to drive this plan forward under the Connacht Ulster Alliance.”
Mr McHugh, Government Chief Whip, said: “We deepened third level education ties through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in February along with University of Ulster, the North West Regional College and Donegal Education and Training Board.
“And as part of cementing cross-border links there is also this Government’s commitment to the City Region Status for Letterkenny-Derry-Strabane.
Deputy McHugh, Government Chief Whip and Minister for the Irish language, Gaeltacht and the Islands, said: “I am confident LYIT has the ability, staff and students to become a world-class institution.
“It will help drive regional development, growth and enterprise and it will become an even bigger focal point in the lives of people in the North-West.”
Mr McHugh said: “I would also urge the team at LYIT to push on with their plans with IT Sligo and GMIT in a bid to get their formal applications into the Department next year.”
The President of LYIT, Paul Hannigan on behalf of LYIT and its partner institutions, Ulster University, North West Regional College and Donegal ETB warmly welcomes the Ministers announcement regarding this funding.
This project provides for new student entry routes, co-ordinated academic plans and a matrix of course provision and mapping which will also, over time, strengthen the cross-border reach of the current Connacht-Ulster Alliance technological university consortium in which Letterkenny is partnered with Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology, Sligo.
The €0.25 million allocation for LYIT is part of an €0.8 million funding allocation to four Institutes of Technology as the final element of the HEA 2018 call for funding submissions in relation to the development of technological university projects and other restructuring projects in the higher education landscape
Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) will receive €0.25 million of this allocation. The other institutions to receive funding are Limerick Institute of Technology, Athlone IT and Dundalk IT.
Minister of State Mitchell O’Connor said, “There is a strong emphasis on the ‘skills ladder’ progression approach from Further Education and Training to Higher Education and on the opportunities afforded pre- and post-Brexit with a strong, dynamic, regional skills focus which I am very supportive of.”
The Technological Universities Act 2018 was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins on Monday March 19.
It builds on the deepened third level education ties that LYIT has developed after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in February along with University of Ulster, the North West Regional College and Donegal Education and Training Board with the aim of improving access to higher and further level education and training to students living and studying in the North West City region planned for Letterkenny, Strabane and Derry.
Under the legislation, the next step in the process is for applications for Technological University (TU) status to be submitted to the Higher Education Authority for assessment by an international panel of experts.