€25.67m in Transformation Funding for Technological Universities announced


The Higher Education Authority has today (8 September 2021) announced funding of €25.67m to higher education institutions to support them in their progression towards Technological University status and in post-establishment development.

This funding builds on the €34.33m awarded in 2020 and represents the second tranche from the Technological University Transformation Fund (TUTF). A total of €90m will be awarded over a 3-year period to assist the development and progression of technological universities.

It is anticipated that the creation of technological universities will significantly enhance progress towards national priorities, particularly in the areas of access to higher education, research-informed teaching and learning, supporting enterprise and enhancing regional development.

Applications for TU designation made by the Technological University of South-East Ireland (TUSEI) consortium and the Connaught Ulster Alliance (CUA) consortium to the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D are currently under assessment.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, said today’s announcement represents a significant investment in Technological Universities, underlining his Department’s, and the Higher Education Authority’s, continuing commitment to supporting the very exciting changes underway in the technological higher education sector.

“The establishment of Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest on October 1 marks another important milestone for technological universities in Ireland. Two further applications for TU designation from the TUSEI and CUA consortia are currently going through the assessment and decision-making process. I look forward to continued progress in the TU sector over the coming year. The Transformation Fund will deliver for TUs, for the regions, communities and Ireland internationally,” Minister Harris said.

CEO of the Higher Education Authority, Dr. Alan Wall, together with the Chair and Board of the HEA, said despite a difficult year, significant strides have been made towards the objectives set out in the TURN report, which set out an ambitious vision for higher education transformation in Ireland.

“Munster Technological University was successfully established on 1 January 2021, and the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest will be established on 1 October 2021. The HEA is supporting the new institutions to deliver tangible results for their regions, in addition to making significant contributions towards national strategic imperatives,” said Dr Wall.

In addition to the allocations announced today, the HEA intends to support the ongoing work of both DkIT and IADT as they pursue separate journeys toward TU status. DkIT has made significant progress on its three-year developmental pathway with the support of a special advisor appointed by the HEA, and IADT continues to advance exploration of its options under the TU Act, 2018. Funding to support further progress by both institutes will be provided in 2022.

The HEA meets regularly with the fund recipients and consults at a sectoral level via the TU Research Network (TURN), to oversee the use of the fund and to best serve the needs of each institution or consortia at its current stage in the TU trajectory.

Considerable progress has been made towards the objectives of the fund since initial disbursements were made in 2020, as evidenced by the robust monitoring systems put 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.