The President of Letterkenny Institute of Technology has said a merger of the institutes with other ITs is not on the agenda.
Paul Hannigan’s comments come after a consultation document from the High Education Authority (HEA) flagged up a merger between LYIT, IT Sligo and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.
The document says there are clear benefits for the north west region if the three institutes merge “to form a stronger institute of technology with greater scale”.
The suggested mergers in the discussion document would see the number of third level institutes in the state reduced from 39 to 24.
The HEA has stressed that the suggested mergers are not “considered conclusions” and are to assist in the consultation process.
The three institutes of technology in the north west signed a strategic alliance agreement in July last year committing themselves to more co-operation.
The LYIT president said its submission to the HEA included the shared aim of the three institutions of establishing a technological university in the north west.
He said the discussion document is part of an ongoing process which will continue with discussions between the IT and the HEA next month before proposals are sent to the Minister for Education in March. “I think a merger isn’t on the agenda at the moment,” he said.
“We are trying to ensure that we continue to provide the best higher education that we can in the region that we are in. We have not built up this institution to the extent we have at the moment to allow it to disappear. What we are trying to do is to increase our capacity to develop more and to offer more facilities within the region we are in and at the moment right across higher education that is resulting in collaboration between institutions.
“Going back as far as 2007, when we started the initial discussions with the University of Ulster, we have always been open to collaboration and cooperation between institutions.”