Irish business group Ibec has welcomed the allocation of €2m towards the development of a Technological University (TU ) in the West and North-West region.
Maureen Walsh, Ibec West Regional President, stated: “Business fully supports the proposed establishment of a TU in the region which will assist in attracting high quality FDI investment into the region and assist existing industries in attracting and retaining high quality and specialist senior staff. The Institutes of Technology are important drivers of growth and their continued support and development as a single technological university for the region is essential to underpin the economic future of the West and a critical element in delivering on the government’s ambition for the region as set out in Project Ireland 2040.
“The Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA ) offers considerable scope to strengthen how business and education institutions work together on a range of issues including the development of more ‘work-ready’ graduates, employee up-skilling, more effective knowledge transfer and an emphasis on close-to-market research. This will require a step-change in scale and capability. The three Higher Education Institutions (HEIs ) that constitute the CUA consortium are working towards achieving TU designation. This funding allocation will support the Institutes in realising that ambition by taking the project to the next stage of development.
Walsh continued: “Talent and skills are becoming more critical than ever before for companies that want to compete effectively domestically and internationally and those looking to scale-up their business. The ability of our education and training system to support this ambition by developing the right skills and talent to match labour market needs and to build a culture of entrepreneurship and business innovation across the region is critical. More must be done, when it comes to the funding of higher education which has not seen the level of ambition needed in new core funding. Funding of our higher education system is of critical importance to our future economic prosperity.”