Minister Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science speaking during his visit to Cork ETB to announce significant investment. Photo: Jim Coughlan.

Boost for Cork education

There were 2 significant and major education announcements recently including plans to build a digital ‘college of the future’ in Cork.

In fact, while Munster Technological University (MTU) has been approved to proceed to the next phase of its multi-million euro Bishopstown Campus Extension Project, its neighbour Cork Education and Training Board is set to become 1 of 10 colleges of the future in Ireland.

The MTU project will allow it to expand and significantly increase student numbers. It will provide additional teaching and learning capacity in several areas.

The project is part of the MTU’s masterplan that seeks to upgrade and extend MTU’s campus infrastructure. Plans include repurposing the existing sports hall and to extend and upgrade existing buildings, to provide accommodation for an extra 1,040 students and 65 staff.

Cork ETB got the go-ahead for 2 major developments including the development of a centre on their Bishopstown campus to build a digital technology teaching and learning centre, additional accommodation for apprenticeships, an integrated FET management and support hub, an employer hub as well as a future skills centre.

They also propose to build a new Youthreach facility on the site of the existing Cork College of FET Mallow campus. The projects will mean a significant investment of over €55 million.

Minister Harris said: “This is a brilliant day for Cork. Cork has been chosen as one of ten locations to proceed to develop a further education College of the Future. Cork has been leading the way on creating a unified third level system that meets the needs of the region it serves.”

Denis Leamy, Chief Executive, Cork ETB said it was a great day for Cork: “This is an important milestone in support of our ambitions to provide a service to the people and communities across the region that can deliver the education and training services that are required at a local level, that are easily accessible, and have the most modern and up to date facilities possible.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “The importance of higher education has never been greater. It is imperative that we maximise our ability to produce talented and responsible graduates who can lead, innovate, create, inspire, and transform.”

MTU President, Prof.Maggie Cusack added: “This is the 2nd announcement of support by Minister Harris for MTU this week and is a real vote of confidence in our university. Moving to the next phase of the proposal to extend our Bishopstown campus along with the plans for a new learner centre on our Kerry North campus, are testament to the high esteem in which our university is now held. Although we were only established last year, we are already on our way to MTU becoming a truly great, globally competitive university.”