Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says her party is committed to protecting and strengthening the Castlebar campus of GMIT. There are serious concerns that the Mayo site is being side-lined in order to protect the Galway campus and there are now calls for ring fenced funding for Castlebar to secure its future.
Deputy Chambers commented, “This is an extremely serious issue, and we need assurances that the Castlebar campus of the college will be safe. The facility not only provides education opportunities, it is a significant economic driver, which provides investment and employment in the county. However, the loss of a number of courses at the campus has raised questions about the future of the GMIT Mayo campus. This uncertainty needs to be addressed and a plan put in place for the future of the Castlebar site.
“Fianna Fáil wants to see the budget for GMIT improved, with specific funding allocated for the Mayo campus. This is essential so that the Castlebar campus can invest in developing new courses and resources, and redress the recent cuts which were imposed. We would also like to see assurances given that there will be sufficient Mayo representation on the board of the governing body to guarantee balanced decision making into the future.
“My party Leader Micheál Martin has met with the GMIT President and its Mayo campus director to address these concerns, and has emphasised his support to enhance the site and bolster a strong campus in Castlebar.
“Despite calls for a standalone Institute of Technology, we believe that Mayo would be best served as part of a stronger, wider IT (and potentially Western Technological University), which would have access to much greater levels of funding for research and teaching as well as enjoying much greater name recognition for student degrees in a global economy.
“The Mayo campus of GMIT forms a key part of the education infrastructure of the Western region and we have to ensure that there are no attempts to downgrade or dilute its importance, both as an education institution and for its economic appeal. It’s essential that we send positive message about GMIT Castlebar and attract new courses. Prospective students need to hear loud and clear that GMIT Castlebar is open for business.”