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Future of GMIT in Castlebar comes into focus again

Fri, Feb 24, 2017

The news this week that five courses at the Castlebar campus of GMIT are to be pulled has been greeted with shock and dismay in the county. On Monday afternoon staff at the college and elected officials in the county were told of the plans to cut the courses in Digital Media and Society, Sustainable Building Technology, Business with Administration and ICT, and heritage related programmes, History and Geography, Culture and the Environment.

The news has seen a Save Castlebar GMIT group set up by former students and a public meeting being organised for Friday March 10 in Castlebar, by Fianna Fáil TD, Lisa Chambers. Deputy Chambers told the Mayo Advertiser yesterday: "There have been widespread rumours of financial difficulty at GMIT and we heard rumours that courses were going to be axed at the Castlebar campus. There is public concern that cuts are being made at Castlebar to ensure Galway is unaffected and that the Castlebar campus is shouldering an unfair level of the cutbacks. At a briefing in Breaffy last Monday elected representatives were told by Dr Fergal Barry, president of GMIT, and Michael Gill, head of Castlebar campus, that they are fully committed to Castlebar and intend to bring new courses on line in the near future. Their reason for cutting the five courses is due to what they say are low numbers applying and taking up places which has made those course unviable.

"The question must be asked if these courses were properly marketed and given a fair chance of success. We also need to see details of what new courses they plan to offer at Castlebar. This is particularly important to save the reputation of the campus at a time when all people are hearing about is courses being axed and a college in financial difficulty. It is important we send a positive message about GMIT Castlebar and announce new courses as soon as possible. Prospective students need to hear loud and clear that GMIT Castlebar is open for business."


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