Education

Dundalk IT ‘losing out on millions’ in funding says institute source

Awarding of €760,000 in Technological University funding pales compared to other institute awards

David Lynch

Reporter:

David Lynch

Dundalk IT ‘losing out on millions’ in funding says institute source

While the awarding of €760,000 this week in Technological University Transformation Funding for DkIT has been highlighted as a good news story, new Higher Education Authority (HEA) figures show the local institute got a noticeably smaller amount of funding compared to other institutes of technologies.

As a result, according to a source within DkIT, the institute is “losing out on millions” in funding which has been made available to those institutes that are members of a Technological University (TU) consortium.

The HEA figures show that other TU consortia, such as Athlone and Limerick Institutes of Technology got €5,000,000; Sligo IT, Letterkenny IT and GMIT got €5,700,000; while Cork and Tralee ITs were awarded €8,250,000.

The source explained: “The €760,000 announced this week has only been achieved because of pressure from the TUI (Teachers Union of Ireland), without who's intervention DkIT would not have access to this fund at all. But when compared to €5.7 million and €5 million allocated to the CUA (Connacht Ulster Alliance) and AIT/LIT, it is not so much a story of money gained but millions lost.”

Explaining the background to the long-running saga, the source said that due to extended delays in making substantial contact with other TU consortia “the only route left to DkIT to achieve TU status {now} is essentially pleading at the gates of whatever Technological University emerges from the Connacht Ulster Alliance (LyIT, Sligo IT and GMIT) for late admission.”

In response to the Democrat, DkIT stated that the €760,000 “will be critical to the implementation of its three-year development pathway” towards Technological University status.

In the statement, a spokesperson for DkIT said: “DkIT is extremely supportive of the HEA’s recent announcement of €760,000 funding via the Technological Universities Transformation Fund (TUTF) which will be provided exclusively to the institute to pursue its ambition to become a TU in the near future. This funding will be critical to the implementation of its three-year development pathway.

“It is important to recognise that the TUTF is a €90m funding programme offered over three years and the institute will continue to pursue funding opportunities in 2021 and 2022. In accordance with its commitments under the agreed development pathway, DkIT remains confident for a positive outcome.”

The statement continued: “DkIT is already in a strong position in relation to meeting the objectives and ambition for TUs set out in the TURN Report. In particular, the Institute has substantially increased its research and innovation outputs over the past five years, which will continue to play a significant role moving forward.”