Apr 16, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Ten of Ireland's 14 institutes of technology (IOTs) have started a process that will lead to the creation of up to four new technological institutes.

At the end of March, the Irish government passed the Technological Universities Act which will provide for the creation of new technological universities by merging two or more existing institutes of technology.

In the 1960s, Ireland established the IOTs to offer certificate-level programs in business, engineering, and science. In the 1970s, some offered full undergraduate degrees and later developed graduate programs.

The new strategy--to combine some of the existing IOTs into technological universities--dovetails perfectly with Ireland's National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030.

The goal? To create these new institutions around the country and focus on professional and vocational science and technology programs.

The strategy for 2030 states, "A technological university will be distinguished by a mission and ethos that is aligned and consistent with the current mission and focus of institutes of technology with an emphasis on programmes at levels 6 to 8 [refers to undergraduate degrees and advanced certificates] and industry-focused research. A technological university will also be expected to play a pivotal role in facilitating access and progression particularly through relationships with the further education and training sector."

When will this happen?

The Irish government hopes to see at least one of these new technological universities in place by September of 2018.

One hope? To link existing Irish universities to the new, regional technical institutions. 

Learn more about studying in Ireland


Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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