Dr Tom Collins, director of the Dundalk Institute of Technology, has been appointed head of the Council of Directors of the Institutes of Technology for 2005.
Collins academic background is in sociology. He is a graduate of National University of Ireland Maynooth, where he completed his PhD degree in 1987. He has been actively involved in many aspects of educational policy development in Ireland and at European level over the past decade. He government advisor through the development of the Green Paper Adult Education in an Era of Lifelong Learning in 1998, and the White Paper Learning for Life in 2000.
Collins is currently a member of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. He is the former chair of the National Rural Water Monitoring Committee and a former board member of the Combat Poverty Agency and the Joint Management Committee of the first Peace and Reconciliation Programme.
Commenting on his appointment, Collins said: “2005 will be a year of immense change for the institutes. My priorities for the year are to drive forward the implementation of the recommendations of two equally significant reports published in recent months. The first is the OECD Review, particularly in regard to administrative autonomy for the Institutes and the establishment of the new Tertiary Education Authority. The second is the Higher Education Authority Capital Review Report by Kevin Kelly, which is practical and pragmatic in putting forward an integrated approach to addressing the national infrastructure deficit in the third-level sector generally and particularly in the institutes of technology.”
The 13 institutes of technology nationwide account for more than 50pc of all third-level students in the country. They have been pressing for greater autonomy in recent years and to be given equal status with universities.
By Brian Skelly