As reported in the Irish Examiner last week, Cork Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology have been in discussions about a merger to become a technological university.
The new type of third-level designation was recommended last week in the long-awaited Hunt report to Government on the future of higher education, suggesting some institutes of technology would be stronger and more efficient if they joined forces.
WIT bosses confirmed that its upgrading to a technological university was likely to happen in conjunction with CIT and that “exploratory talks” have taken place between the two colleges. But it also emerged that Institute of Technology Tralee may also feature in the possible amalgamation.
“Waterford will get a university in the very near future. If we make the right choices and decisions in the coming weeks or months, it puts that within touching distance,” governing body chairperson Redmond O’Donoghue said.
In a statement, CIT said it has taken a leadership role by initiating talks with WIT and also with IT Tralee to determine their interest in partnership with a technological university proposal. “CIT has also engaged international experts who have experience of establishing and managing this type of multi-campus university to develop a model for the creation of a technological university.”
The four institutes of technology in Dublin have already announced they may seek technological university status, while other partnerships are likely be formed between smaller institutes.