The Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has announced that the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) will be dissolved and merged, to form the Munster Technological University (MTU).

The news broke from an announcement on Harris’ Twitter account at 2 PM on December 2nd. He has described the move as a “really exciting adventure ahead for higher education in Munster.” MTU will be effective as a university from January 1st, 2021. The move has been in the works since early 2019, when a submission was made to the Higher education Authority (HEA) to form a technological university.

The MTU will operate across 6 different campuses located around south and west Munster. The University is expected to educate up to 18,000 students and have 2,000 staff on their books. Fine Gael TD and Oireachtas committee chairman Brendan Griffin described the move as “A new era… for higher education in the southwest.” President of IT Tralee, Dr Brendan O’Donnell said that MTU could become “a strong driver of economic growth for the region”. 

However, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has been left out of these plans, despite WIT winning the Sunday Times Institute of technology award for 2021. The exclusion of WIT in the project means that MTU will be based in the South-western part of the province, rather than all of Munster.

The move mirrors Dublin Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tallaght’s decision to dissolve and merge to form Technological University Dublin (TUD) in early 2020. TUD has campuses across Dublin city and Tallaght, which will move to a TUD campus in Grangegorman in the coming years.

Luke Murphy, Co-Editor.