Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has confirmed that the Technological Universities Bill has not passed either the Dáil or Seanad. It will be up to the next government to decide whether to progress with the Bill.

“This is a significant victory for the Institute of Technology Sector. If passed this Bill would lead to a dramatic reduction in the provision of academic programmes and courses in many counties, including Cork.

“The Minister’s attempt to force mergers and consolidation is a cost saving measure pure and simple. There are absolutely no academic or logical reasons that just because an IT merges with a neighbouring IT that it should be any more, or less eligible, to be given University Status.

“We need to ensure that Fine Gael and Labour are not involved with the next government and are not able to proceed with this regressive Bill which will decimate the IT sector.

“Fianna Fáil will not support the Technological Universities Bill in next Dáil. We support the establishment of Technological Universities however we believe that ITs should be eligible to apply for Technological University status on their own without the necessity of a merger. ITs should not be forced to merge,” said Deputy Martin.