Letterkenny I.T. "won't be found wanting" in creating opportunities for students
Letterkenny Institute of Technology "won't be found wanting" when it comes to creating opportunities for its students, college President Paul Hannigan insisted this week.
Speaking at the announcement by Minister Mary Coughlan of the securing of additional lands for expansion at the I.T., he said it was what they did inside the walls of the campus, either in Letterkenny or in Killybegs, that would define them.
"Just as with our physical capacity LYIT has identified that to continue to expand our academic activity we needed to collaborate in the HE. This we have done through the NWGSA within the University of Ulster. While we have agreed to proceed on a project by project basis personal and professional relationships have been established which augur well for the future.
"We have a responsibility to our students to create more opportunities for them and we won't be found wanting," said the President.
Full-time enrolment at the college had increased to 3,000 students - an increase of 30% in three years, a target they had set for 2013.
"We have participated actively in the Government sponsored Labour Market Activation activities introducing new programmes in areas such as pharmacy technician, wind energy and a number of accelerated and conversion programmes to offer people living in the region the opportunities to re-skill and re-enter the workforce.
"While small businesses are finding it difficult at the moment there are a number of bright spots in Letterkenny itself. All of the major multinationals located here have been recruiting with jobs announced in UHG in July and Zeus in December. Pramerica continues to recruit and SITA continues to expand," Mr. Hannigan told Monday's announcement.
He pledged: "We will continue to work with industry to create opportunities for our graduates, while also helping to develop internal labour markets in their own organisations."
Describing it as a "significant day for Letterkenny I.T., the Tanaiste and Minister for Education and Skills said the 8 million euro development would see the I.T. secure two portions of land to help extend the campus - one on a ten acre site opposite the main gate and the other located on a sixty-six acre site north-east of the Knocknamona roundabout in the town.
"These acquisitions will transform the campus in LYIT. With a current student population of almost 3,000 and with a projected growth in enrolments of 25% by 2014/15, the need for additional lands has been a priority for the Institute for a number of years.
"Recent reduction in land values has enabled the Institute pursue opportunities that it could not otherwise pursue."
The funding would bring Government capital investment in LYIT to over €43 million in the past decade, Deputy Coughlan indicated.