Ireland’s newest technological university is established

4 Jan 2021

Image: © Vitaliy Hrabar/

In an ‘important milestone’ for the south-west, CIT and IT Tralee will now become Munster Technological University.

A new technological university has been formally established in the south-west of Ireland.

Munster Technology University was inaugurated on 1 January, after a consortium of Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee received technological university status in May of last year.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, said the new institution would deliver “significant additional benefits” to the region.

“The establishment of only the second technological university in the State – the first outside the capital – is another important milestone for higher education in Ireland and, in particular, for the south-west,” Harris added.

“The new TU will build on what is best in both of these institutes of technology, particularly in strengthened links between apprenticeships, industry and employers.”

MTU will comprise six campuses in Cork and Kerry, with around 18,000 students in total. It is the first university to be established in Cork since University College Cork in 1845, and it is the first university to ever be established in Kerry.

Academic focus at MTU will include creative and performing arts and media, business, engineering, health and social sciences, and science and informatics.

Prof Maggie Cusack, formerly of the University of Stirling, has been appointed as president of MTU. She is the second ever woman to take on the role of president at an Irish university. Prof Kerstin Mey became the first when she was appointed as president of the University of Limerick last year.

Bob Savage, chair of MTU’s governing body, described the establishment of a new technological university as “historic”.

“MTU has the potential to be groundbreaking for the south-west region by providing a new, flexible teaching and learning framework to students that is informed by research and offers opportunities for students to pursue diverse programmes across the range of levels.”

Ireland’s first technological university, TU Dublin, was announced in 2018 and launched the following year. A third technology university could soon be on the cards, as a consortium of Athlone IT and Limerick IT submitted an application to the Government late last year.

Harris said last week that the Government will be progressing the development of technological universities around the country.

“Higher education is changing in Ireland and our technological university agenda is one of the most exciting parts of the reform and modernising of the third-level sector,” he said.

Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic