Mayo Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon is due to meet with Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, for a face-to-face briefing on the status of the GMIT Mayo campus.
In light of this, he received a statement from the minister on a parliamentary question he posed regarding the impending closure of the business school at the GMIT Mayo campus.
Minister Harris replied to Dillon saying: "As the Deputy is aware, a Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT ) Working Group was established in March 2017.
"The key objective of this group was to develop a plan to develop a sustainable future for the Mayo Campus arising from concerns about the financial viability of the campus. The Report contained 33 recommendations for implementation.
"The Governing Authority of GMIT in consultation with the HEA have responsibility for the implementation of the recommendations of the report to promote the future sustainability of the Mayo Campus as an integral part of GMIT in the North West Region.
"One of the key recommendations was the establishment of a sub-committee of the Governing Body of Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT ) to oversee the management and development of the Mayo Campus. This sub-committee was established in early 2018 and has given campus issues more focus from a governance perspective and also facilitated the involvement of regional stakeholders.
"I have been assured that GMIT is fully committed to multi-disciplinary provision at its Mayo campus and this includes business but is also examining opportunities arising from the growing critical mass and expertise on the campus in health care and wellbeing, to protect the future sustainability of the campus.
"I am also assured that the Mayo campus of GMIT is an integral part of the Institute with the development and success of the Mayo campus a priority for the Governing Body and executive leadership of GMIT.
"Given its location and hinterland alongside that of IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT – GMIT’s partners in the Connaught Ulster Alliance consortium in establishment of a proposed multi-campus Technological University spanning the West and North West – the development and success of the Mayo campus remains a priority for the Governing Body and executive leadership of GMIT.
"The creation of a Technological University by the Connaught Ulster Alliance will provide enormous opportunities for all stakeholders in the region, including those in Mayo.
"I understand GMIT, following engagement with Mayo campus staff over an extended period, is undertaking a strategic reorganisation process as part a critical element of the transformation process required to realise these benefits from TU designation.
"I also understand the GMIT President has confirmed that the intention of this process is to enhance offerings and services, not diminish them. I am very supportive of the continued success of the Mayo Campus as part of the future of GMIT and progression towards TU designation."
Minister Harris concluded: "It is vital for GMIT and the future TU to offer an integrated service to all stakeholders working across the region and acting as one.
"All GMIT schools are intended to have a GMIT-wide remit including Mayo, Galway and beyond. The strategic re-positioning of GMIT now underway encompasses the commitment to ensure the long-term sustainability and future development of the Mayo Campus."