New Year’s Day was an historic occasion in Tralee with the official opening of the country’s newest university.
ore than 40 years after it was founded as Tralee RTC, on Friday, after more than a decade of hard work, Institute of Technology Tralee shed its old moniker and formally became the Kerry campus of the Munster Technological University.
The consortium of IT Tralee and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) was designated as a technological university earlier this year.
The MTU is a multi-campus technological university, which will have six campuses across the south-west region in Cork and Kerry, and a student body of 18,000.
The MTU is the first university to be established in Kerry, and in Cork it will be the first university to be established since UCC in 1845.
Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris TD hailed the historic milestone for Irish education.
“The establishment of only the second technological university in the State, the first outside the capital, is another important milestone for higher education in Ireland and, in particular, for the south-west,” he said.
“From New Year’s Day, the new Munster Technological University will start its journey and drive access, excellence, and regional development. It will strengthen the links with businesses in the country and the community, all of which will greatly enrich and enhance the south-west,” said Minister Harris.
Chair of MTU’s Governing Body Bob Savage welcomed the formal establishment of the technological university and the opportunities Munster Technological University creates for the region.
“Today marks an historic day for the future of higher education in Ireland. MTU has the potential to be ground-breaking for the south-west region by providing a new, flexible teaching and learning framework to students that is informed by research and offers opportunities for students to pursue diverse programmes across the range of levels,” he said on Friday.
“I now extend my best wishes to our collective staff, students, and stakeholders who have been instrumental in bringing us to this day,” said Mr Savage.
Newly installed President of the Munster Technological University Professor Maggie Cusack said it was an important day for the region.
“This is an auspicious day for the entire Munster region with the formation of Munster Technological University that will benefit students, staff and stakeholders for generations to come,” she said.
“The positive regional benefits will be paralleled with global impact from our research and innovation as we maximise the opportunities afforded [to] MTU by the Irish Research Council and through Horizon Europe and the Green Deal,” said President Cusack.