Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers has welcomed the passage of the Technological Universities Bill through the Dáil saying it marks a major step forward for third level education.
Deputy Chambers commented, “Fianna Fáil has played a key role in the passage of the Technological Universities Bill, tabling a number of amendments to protect courses, address concerns over mergers and ensuring that all regions maintain multidisciplinary academic provision.
“While Fianna Fáil has always supported the concept of Technological Universities we had deep reservations about the detail of the original Bill. Our concerns were shared by both students and staff in the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.
“We were very keen to ensure that current levels of multi-disciplinary academic provision be protected across the two campuses and I am pleased that our amendments were accepted and that the Bill has passed through the Dáil.
“I had serious concerns about the possibility of forced mergers between Institutes of Technology. As a result of our amendments no mergers will be allowed to proceed unless designation as a Technological University happens simultaneously. This means that GMIT will not be forced to merge with any other IT in order to be approved for Technological University status.
“It has taken a long time for this Bill to make its way through the Dáil, and it is a dramatically different but much improved piece of legislation as a result of the changes put forward by Fianna Fáil”.