Government grants technological university status to CIT and IT Tralee

27 May 2020

Image: © Siam/

From 2021, Cork Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology Tralee will be recognised as Munster TU.

On Tuesday (26 May), the Government announced that it has granted technological university (TU) status to the consortium of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and IT Tralee.

The announcement was made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh, TD, and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor.

From 2021, the two institutes will be recognised as Munster TU, and students graduating in the 2020 to 2021 academic year will do so with university qualifications.

In February 2019, the institutes applied to be established as the second TU in Ireland, with the first being TU Dublin. The process to designate a new TU is underpinned in the Technological Universities Act 2018.

McHugh commented: “The development of the new university from these two institutes will bring enormous benefit to the higher education landscape, to both institutions’ communities and stakeholders and to the region.”

‘A driver of regional development’

Varadkar said that the Government “has a very clear ambition” to expand and consolidate higher education facilities, boost economic development across the country and to attract research funding.

“Technological universities are central to delivering on this,” he said. “The establishment of the Munster Technological University will stimulate a more balanced growth of population and employment across Ireland. It will make it easier to secure foreign direct investment and provide quality jobs in the region.”

Varadkar added that the Munster TU will be a “driver of regional development” and will help to make higher education more accessible to students across the country.

The Government will draft a ministerial order that will be prepared for approval by both Houses of the Oireachtas for 1 January 2021 for the establishment of Munster TU and the dissolution of CIT and IT Tralee.

Mitchell O’Connor said that the higher education landscape is changing and the people who will benefit most from this announcement are the students of the south west.

“Munster TU will now take its place in our higher education system,” she said.

“It is essential that a new university is agile, forward-thinking and builds on the combined strengths of its staff and students across all disciplines and levels, promoting enhanced teaching, learning and qualifications opportunities for students, from apprenticeship level right up to postdoctoral level.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic