Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD says the approval of Ireland’s first Technological University is a positive development which follows years of delays as the Government continues to struggle to set out its vision for third level education.

The new Technological University is set to be created next January and will comprise of a merger between Dublin, Tallaght and Blanchardstown Institutes of Technology.

Deputy Byrne said, “This day has been a long time coming for all of those that have been campaigning for Technological Universities. Fianna Fáil played an important role in facilitating the passage of the Technological Universities Bill and we put pressure on the Government to ensure the legislation was enacted as soon as possible. We worked closely will colleagues from across the Dáil and secured a number of amendments to address concerns surrounding the mergers process.

“Today’s news is a positive development but huge uncertainty remains over the future direction of third level education. It’s now over two years since the Cassells Report was published which set out in stark terms the challenges facing the funding of third level education. The key and prime recommendation of the report is that substantially more State funding is required for third level education.

“Last year the Oireachtas Education Committee called on the Government to establish a technical study to determine how the findings of the Cassells Report will be implemented. The Government has put off implementing such a study until next year at the earliest.

“The creation of Technological Universities needs to be matched with tangible action on the ground. Third level institutions are struggling to do more with fewer resources and the competitiveness of our universities is at risk as a result. The failure by Government to provide a clear policy direction for third level education is undermining our entire strategy of promoting a highly skilled and versatile workforce,” concluded Deputy Byrne.