Vote clears way for technological universities law

Lecturers at institutes of technology have voted for a deal with colleges and the Department of Education that should clear the way for new laws allowing the creation of technological universities, writes Niall Murray for the Irish Examiner.

Teachers’ Union of Ireland, or TUI, opposition to various aspects of the bill published 18 months ago to underpin a technological university sector had led to an impasse that meant the legislation had stalled. But Education Minister Richard Bruton is expected to amend the Technological Universities Bill after a 74% vote in favour of the agreement. Just over 40% of TUI’s 4,000 members in the institutes of technology sector, and therefore eligible to vote, took part in the ballot.

A key concession to the TUI is that the previous pre-condition that two or more institutes of technology must complete a merger before applying to become a technological university has been removed. Instead, a merger would only happen on the same date as an approved designation as a technological university. The deal also assures existing staff they will not be reassigned to another college or campus within a technological university unless procedures to do so are agreed, and increased academic staff representation will be provided on governing bodies.
Full report on the Irish Examiner site