Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed the government’s announcement of €900,000 in capital funding for Cork Institute of Technology.
The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D today announced €10 million funding in capital grants for the country’s 11 Institutes of Technology (IOT) and TU Dublin.
The announcement was made this week by Cllr. O’Shea colleagues, Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor.
The investment is being made under Project Ireland 2040 for the current academic year and the money will be used on small-scale and necessary infrastructure works and improvements.
The €10 million fund is allocated on the basis of enrolments.
The funds range from €590,000 for colleges with up to 3,500 students like Letterkenny IT, Dun Laoghaire IADT and Tralee IT and more than €2 million for TU Dublin, which has more than 25,000 students across its campuses.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “This is priority investment by the Government under Project Ireland 2040 because it helps the institutions to carry out minor works, make small but important improvements on campuses and get better equipment.
“And it also complements the heavy investment in third level facilities with €2.2 billion being spent across the sector from 2018-2027 in new buildings, better labs and learning spaces and other areas.
“IoTs can tap into this funding for refurbishment jobs, to upgrade IT, to make health and safety improvements and make buildings more energy efficient.”
Minister Mitchell O’Connor added: “The Government is committed to supporting quality and excellence in established and emerging technological universities. The capital grant announced today will complement the €90 million Technological University Transformation Fund announced in Budget 2020 and gives important flexibility to the institutions in addressing their most urgent capital priorities.
“Previous rounds of this scheme have had a significant positive impact on campus development. For example, institutions have been supported to upgrade their laboratories, to replace obsolete ICT equipment, to install energy efficient lighting, and to repurpose existing spaces in line with the needs of students and staff.”
The €10 million funding will be provided to the institutions through the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
A review of the devolved grant scheme, which has operated at its current level for six years, is currently being undertaken by HEA, in consultation with the sector. This will inform future approaches to capital grants for minor works and equipment as Government investment in the sector continues with the roll-out of Project Ireland 2040.