LETTERKENNY Institute of Technology could make a bid for university status as early as next year following a fresh funding boost.
The institute will receive a significant chunk of a €2.5 million investment announced for three institutes of technology – Letterkenny, Galway and Sligo – collectively known as the Connacht Ulster Alliance.
LYIT will receive €500,00 of the package directly and will be eligible to draw down further funding from the remaining €2 million.
The money will be used to boost student numbers, enhance the course list it provides and add to the research project portfolio the college has become renowned for.
The developments should take LYIT over the threshold needed to gain university status and Education Minister Joe McHugh revealed yesterday that an application for such a ranking could be made as early as September 2020.
“We all want to see LYIT grow and expand into a university and we all see the benefit in deeper ties across the border, including in education,” said Minister McHugh.
Yesterday’s boost comes two months after €1.8m was announced for LYIT’s School of Tourism in Killybegs and for a planned new library. A further €250,000 was invested last year in LYIT as they pave the way for technological university status.
“I know how keen LYIT president Paul Hannigan is to drive this Connacht Ulster Alliance forward. I want to bring the leadership of the three institutions together and see where else our best efforts can be focused to make our ambitions a reality,” Minister McHugh added.