Welcoming the announcement, President of ATU Dr Orla Flynn said the funding will have a significant impact on the region; “We are delighted to have secured the €5.27m in funding from the TU Transformation Fund, which will help deliver our ambitious plans as a new university operating across the west and northwest of Ireland. This funding will enable access to higher education across our unique region, help strengthen research and innovation capacity and stimulate more cohesive engagement with enterprise. We want to thank the Higher Education Authority and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, for their continued support as we develop and grow our new university.”
This funding builds on the first two years of the Technological University Transformation Fund (TUTF) where a total of €60m has already been awarded to the sector since 2020. The TUTF is a 3-year €90m funded project that is designed to assist the development and progression of technological universities (TUs).
With support from the TUTF, it is intended that TUs will significantly advance national priorities, especially in the areas of access to higher education, research-informed teaching and learning, supporting enterprise, and enhancing regional development.
Atlantic Technological University (ATU) was formed in April, bringing the total number of TUs in Ireland to five.
Minister Harris said: “Over the past year Atlantic Technological University and South East Technological University have been established and are taking their place at the heart of our higher education landscape.
“This funding is part of the Transformation Funding, which has seen €60 million already invested in making our Tus a reality. The funding today will help build on that important work and ensure TUs have the capacity to grow.”
CEO of the Higher Education Authority, Dr Alan Wall, together with the Chair and Board of the HEA, also welcomed the recent expansion of the sector and the support of higher education institutions through the Technological University Transformation Fund. “The successful establishment of five TUs attests to the transformational development of the technological sector and the positive impact of the TUTF. The HEA supports Technological Universities and the ongoing reform of the higher education landscape, recognising the role of TUs at a regional level and in making significant contributions to national objectives and internationally,” Dr Wall said.
The HEA meets regularly with TUTF recipients to oversee the use of the fund and to encourage consultation and best practice sharing at sector level, and in this way supports understanding of the requirements of institutions at various stages of the TU trajectory.
Considerable advances have been made towards the objectives of the TUTF since initial disbursements were made in 2020, and robust monitoring systems are in place to track progress.
This round of funding allocations was determined on the basis of assessed capacity and progress evidenced in meeting the objectives and ambitions outlined in the TURN Report.