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Professor Vincent Cunnane, President of Limerick Institute of Technology.

LIT President calls for action on HEA review

President of LIT, Professor Vincent Cunnane has welcomed the publication of the Financial Review of the Institutes of Technology and has called for the immediate implementation of actions to support the technological education sector.

Professor Vincent Cunnane said, “LIT welcomes the publication of this HEA Review. The diagnosis is done, it is now time to implement the remedy.”

“It must be said that there is a stark reality at the heart of this review.  It clearly demonstrates serious under-funding of Higher Education in Ireland, and points to a set of actions which must be undertaken to address the situation.

“Despite the ingenuity and commitment demonstrated by the sector in recent years, the inescapable conclusion is that the prompt implementation of these actions is absolutely critical if the Higher Education sector is to deliver the skilled graduates necessary to sustain the growth in jobs that we have recently seen.

“For our part, we in LIT will work with government, the HEA and other stakeholders to achieve this end. We in the Mid-West have turned a corner, and we simply must act now to keep on this course.
“LIT has invested in our capital infrastructure, our stock of industry-standard equipment and facilities to ensure that our graduates have practical experience at the cutting edge.  This was challenging in times when state investment in Higher Education has dried up completely.
“Nonetheless, we invested our own resources sensibly in targeted areas such as Precision Engineering which will provide the optimum benefit to the economy and the optimum job prospects to our graduates,” said.

Professor Cunnane added, “We have also been able to navigate many of the challenges facing higher education in Ireland by prudent management of our finances over the last number of years.
“This has meant that we are not now subject to the severe financial difficulties besetting some areas of the higher education sector in Ireland.  However, the longer this funding situation remains unresolved the less able the Irish Higher Education system will be to cater for the state’s needs, including the demands of our population to progress to Higher Education.

“It is fair to say that the diagnosis of the issues facing Higher Education in Ireland is now done, and we must move without delay to implementing the remedy.”

Professor Cunnane said it is of absolute importance that the actions set out in this report are implemented without further delay.  This includes new capital provisions and the new stability fund.

“If these actions are carried out, then LIT will be able to greatly strengthen its role as a generator of economic activity and employment for Limerick and the Mid-West.  This will benefit students, their families, communities, the region and Ireland as a whole.

“Our strategy is underpinned by capital investment in key projects that include our new Coonagh campus – which supports growth in engineering – as well as interconnected large-scale developments in the city centre.  These investments act as central elements of the ambitious Limerick 2030 plan,” he added.

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