HEA welcomes significant step to deliver 73,000sqm of new Higher Education facilities



By Maura O'Shea

Posted: 18 August, 2020

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) today, Tuesday 18 August, welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D., of the launch of the tender process for Bundle 1 of the Higher Education Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme.

The Programme includes a total of eleven projects at higher education institutes located across Ireland. This investment under Project Ireland 2040 will be provided in two bundles with a focus on STEM, ICT, Engineering and Life Sciences and will underpin Ireland’s technological universities (TU’s).

Bundle 1, which is now proceeding to tender, includes six projects located in the TU Dublin Tallaght and Blanchardstown campuses; in CIT and IT Tralee, which will merge to create the new Munster Technological University in January 2021; in the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire; and in Athlone Institute of Technology (working with LIT).

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Alan Wall, Chief Executive Officer, HEA said:

“This investment is critical to increasing access to high quality higher education in state-of-the-art facilities. This additional infrastructure will ensure that we continue to produce graduates with the up-to-date skills demanded by our modern economy.

These eleven new buildings will address a diversity of skills areas. They have strong focus on supporting regional development. New student places will be generated in critical STEM areas, but we are also responding to wider skills needs in the economy, with support for digital media, design provision and culinary arts, amongst other areas.

Many institutes are working towards the attainment of Technological University status. This new infrastructure will support them greatly in that aim. This will be transformative, not just for the institutional landscape, but also for staff and students and the regions these institutions serve.”

A second bundle of projects is expected to go to tender in Q1 2021. This includes five projects located in Waterford IT and IT Carlow, which are part of the consortium seeking to establish a Technological University for the South East; in Galway/Mayo IT and Letterkenny IT, which are part of the Connacht Ulster Alliance; and in Limerick IT which has formed a TU consortium with Athlone.

The bundles will be procured by the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science as Approving Authority. The Higher Education Authority is the Sponsoring Agency for the Programme.

The full press statement from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science is available here.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Maura O’Shea, HEA Communications

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