Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD says the failure by the Government to progress the Technological Universities Bill is deeply disappointing.

Deputy Byrne made the comments after raising the issue in the Dáil earlier today with minister for Education Richard Bruton. The Fianna Fáil TD pointed out that the failure to progress the Bill is hampering the development of third level institutions.

Deputy Byrne said, “The failure by Minister Bruton to progress the Technological Universities Bill is inexcusable. Fianna Fáil made it clear that we would facilitate the passage of the Bill provided that some of our concerns would be addressed. However it’s over a year since the Government was formed and we are still waiting for progress to be made on this.

“It is vital that the passage of this Bill is secured in order to enable Institutes of Technology to establish Technological Universities. This will help strengthen third level education as it will allow Institutes of Technology to adopt a more collaborative approach to research which will in turn help attract the external funding needed to support continued development.

“Fianna Fáil previously raised concerns with specific aspects of the Bill but we made it explicitly clear that we would facilitate its passage once these issues are addressed. We put forward comprehensive amendments which would eliminate the flaws that we have identified in the Bill. However the Government has decided to put this issue on the backburner to the detriment of the third level sector.

“I raised this issue in the Dáil with Minister Bruton and asked him to set out a detailed timetable for the passage of this Bill. Further delays on this will not be tolerated,” concluded Deputy Byrne.