Minister Harris announces multi-million euro funding approved to progress two key student learning projects for Munster Technological University

By Amber Flynn

Posted: 4 December, 2023

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today announced two projects in Munster Technological University (MTU) that will progress to the next stage of development under the Technological Sector Strategic Projects Fund (TSSPF).

The Minister made the announcement while visiting Kerry MTU’s North Campus in Tralee which will be one of the two locations whose proposal will progress, with the other being MTU Cork Bishopstown’s campus.

The Tralee campus proposal is the development of a Student Learner Centre with the potential to serve 2,000-3,000 students.

This investment will provide for top class student facilities in the North Campus of MTU Kerry.

The investment in MTU Cork is to upgrade and extend the existing Blocks D and Blocks A to provide core teaching facilities in the areas of Business, Humanities, Engineering, Science, Health and Wellbeing, Tourism.

This project will allow MTU Cork to future proof their learning provision on the Bishopstown Campus in terms of both numbers of learners and disciplines provided. The new infrastructure will be utilised to address skills shortages in existing sectors and to address skills needs in emerging enterprise opportunities in the region.

Speaking today in Tralee, Minister Harris said:

“We are investing tens of millions of euros across the country to ensure each student benefits from the highest quality of education.

“I am delighted to announce that two MTU proposals have been approved to progress under the Technological Sector Strategic Projects Fund.

“This means MTU can now work towards appointing design teams to get the ball rolling on each of these transformative projects for MTU.

“It is with these multi-million euro investments that we will truly change the learners’ experience for the better, providing the highest quality of infrastructure.

“The HEA in advancing these capital proposals, is playing a crucial leading role in rolling out the Technological Sector Strategic Projects Fund ensuring a pipeline of key strategic projects that delivers for our learners and our economic and societal needs.

“These are significant investments, providing funding to the tune of €130m for a number of projects that have been successful at this stage of the programme, of which MTU Cork and Kerry are two of those projects.

“The capital investments I am announcing today shows the commitment that I and my department have to our Technological Sector in supporting them to be drivers of regional and national development by supporting learners to achieve the skills level required to engage both nationally and in the global world”

President of MTU Professor Maggie Cusack welcomed the announcement: “Today’s announcement marks a real vote of confidence in MTU and will enhance further and higher education opportunities across the southwest region for generations to come.

“Added to the recently opened state-of-the-art MTU Arena on our Bishopstown campus, as well as the buildings we currently have under construction and renovation – including a new Learning Resource Centre in Bishopstown and a new Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) Building on MTU’s Kerry North Campus in Tralee – these new capital projects will enhance MTU’s reputation as a great place to study and work and a first-choice university in Munster.”

Ciarán McCaffrey, Head of Capital Programmes in the HEA, said: “We welcome today’s announcement that two projects in Munster Technological University (MTU) will progress to the next stage of development under the HEA’s Technological Sector Strategic Projects Fund (TSSPF).

“This investment is key in meeting the growing requirements of MTU and will provide state of the art student facilities on the North Campus of MTU Kerry as well as enable the delivery of additional student places in areas such as Business, Humanities, Engineering and Science in the Cork region.

“The HEA looks forward to continuing to work closely with MTU as they move towards the implementation of these ambitious capital projects.”

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