Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says the passage of the Technological Universities Bill will be a key milestone in the delivery of third level education across the country.

The Bill passed through the Seanad last week.

Deputy Chambers commented, “It has taken a long time for this Bill to make it through the Dáil and Seanad and it has not always been without issue.  However, it was a key priority for Fianna Fáil, and we submitted a significant number of amendments to the original Bill.

“I was particularly keen, in the context of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology that current levels of course provision be protected across both campuses. The Bill, which has now passed, has secured this.

“The issue of a merger was also a serious concern for both the staff and students in GMIT but the legislation now protects ITs from mergers unless there is a simultaneous designation as a Technological University.  This means that no existing Institutes of Technology will have to merge as a pre-condition of seeking Technological University status which might not have been granted. This was a key precondition of Fianna Fáil support for this Bill.

“Our amendments have also placed a renewed focus on issues like gender equality and multidisciplinary academic provision to ensure that they are maintained in all ITs and Technological Universities”.