Mayo TD Alan Dillon

TD reveals details of his top level talks over future of Mayo GMIT Campus

Mayo Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon has revealed details of his top level talks with Minister of Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, GMIT president Dr Orla Fynn and Government departmental officials and members of the HEA as positive and progressive.

Deputy Dillon, who requested this meeting which took place on Friday, reports: “The meeting presented the first opportunity to brief Minister Harris on the importance of the GMIT Mayo Campus to the region while outlining the need for a wide range, of courses, to ensure the people of Mayo are best serviced with Higher and Further Education opportunities.

"It was also an opportunity to discuss a viable development plan for the Mayo campus as part of GMIT’s submission with IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT in quarter one of 2021 within the Connaught Ulster Alliance for Technological University status.

"The difficulty at present surrounds the lack of specific detail on GMIT’s proposed realignment of programmes within the existing academic structures of GMIT and what impact if any this will have on the Mayo campus.

"The issue was brought to public attention following the redeployment of the Mayo campus business faculty and staff to Galway."

Deputy Dillon outlined a strong signal of confidence as to the future of Mayo campus with opportunities for a new School for GMIT, led from the Mayo campus with possible specialisms in health science, nursing, social care and wellbeing.

This new school would have the potential to influence academic direction within the new TU.

The Mayo Campus has also seen great success in securing Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 and 3 funding to support new programme development.

Deputy Dillon elaborated: “What is needed now is absolute clarity on GMIT’s proposed realignment of programmes and how this impact the Mayo campus.

"A huge amount of work, time and funding has been invested in GMIT Working Group Implementation plan and this strategic realignment must not negatively impact the sustainability and viability of Mayo campus.

"I have called for a comprehensive review of the 33 recommendations and thankfully the HEA has instructed Mazars to provide independent oversight on this important process.

"Some key recommendations have still not been implemented I will be working with the Minister, The HEA and various stakeholders to ensure the GMIT Governing is accountable in the delivery of these recommendations under the HEA policy agreement.

"Minister Harris confirmed he is willing to meet members of the various regional employers/representative groups, various chamber of commerce and Mayo Industries to understand better the skills requirements and needs of the region which is a welcome initiative."

"Further meetings will be scheduled with the President of GMIT and Minister Harris in the coming weeks with the opportunity for all Mayo Oireachtas member to be briefed and updated on further developments related to the GMIT Working Group Implementation Report. "