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USI endorses new freedoms for Institutes of Technology

category national | irish social forum | press release author Friday May 05, 2006 13:45author by Union of Students in Irelandauthor email president at usi dot ieauthor address USI, Grattan St., Dublin 2, Irelandauthor phone 353 - 1 - 435 - 3400 Report this post to the editors

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has strongly endorsed new legislation that puts the country’s 14 Institutes of Technology on a more equal footing with the seven universities for managing their own affairs and realising opportunities for growth.

USI ENDORSES NEW FREEDOMS FOR INSTITUTES OF TECHNOLOGY

5 May 2006

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has strongly endorsed new legislation that puts the country’s 14 Institutes of Technology on a more equal footing with the seven universities for managing their own affairs and realising opportunities for growth.

In contrast to universities which benefit from being overseen by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the Institutes of Technology currently fall under direct control of the Department of Education – which places them in something of a straitjacket.

Thanks to the new Institutes of Technology Bill, this disparity should soon be redressed. The Bill brings the institutes under HEA control and gives them more of the same managerial and academic freedoms that the universities enjoy.

USI President Tony McDonnell said: “The Government is right to grant the institutes more of the same managerial and academic freedoms as the universities, and right to remove the ITs from direct Department of Education control and place them under the oversight of the HEA, just like the universities.

“The Government’s announcement of this legislation is particularly timely, given that this week, a new survey showed that most of the public have an incomplete understanding of the wide range of academic options that ITs provide.

“The institutes offer honours degrees and postgraduate qualifications identical to those offered by the universities, as well as non-honours degrees and diplomas, and all of their qualifications are internationally recognised.

“The new Institutes of Technology Bill looks like an important step towards supporting the institutes to enlarge their public profile, but USI is urging the Government to ensure that ITs have the financial resources to better communicate their wide range of academic options to the public – and particularly to people from families with no tradition of higher education”.

Ends

For more information please contact:

Tony McDonnell, USI President 086 8374104
Ryan Brennan, Development Manager 01 4353400

Related Link: http://www.usi.ie
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