Dublin to have a ‘super Institute’?
Yesterday’s Irish Independent newspaper reported that four institutes of technology – Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Blanchardstown IOT, Tallaght IOT and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology have been in ‘secret talks’ to create a ‘combined super Institute of Technology’. Initially it appears that the collaboration will, if agreed, focus on avoiding programme duplication and on shared support services, but the longer term objective could be a united institute.
All of this is of course connected with the question of what should happen to the institutes of technology. Should they stay as they are, should they join in regional alliances or linkages with universities (the ‘clustering’ idea), should they individually or in groups seek university status? And in all this, how will the mission of this sector be developed, and will it still be distinct from that of the current universities?
Some of these questions may be addressed by the Higher Education Strategic Review when its report is published. But in the meantime it is clear that the institute of technology sector is in flux, and is unlikely to survive in quite its current form.