Regional technical college in Cork is upgraded to institute

 

The Cork Regional Technical College was formally upgraded to an Institute of Technology yesterday by the Minister for Education and Science, Mr Micheal Martin, following a 10-year campaign.

The first signs that the college would be granted higher status were given by the Minister when he took office in July. Some £46 million will now be spent over 10 years to make the new institute a dynamic force in education.

The institute, with 5,000 full-time students and almost 6,000 part-timers, has an annual budget over £20 million and is located in the Bishopstown area of Cork city. The new capital investment programme, already under way, will pay for a new catering school, a new administrative centre and a new student centre.

Unveiling the huge sign proclaiming its institute status yesterday, Mr Martin said the institute was a vital part of Cork's infrastructure. The Government's decision to upgrade it and to make available such significant funding was an indication of its importance to the region.

He said the demand for places at the institute was a testament to its excellence. From his contacts with leaders of industry, he was aware that industrialists looked to it as one of the key providers of skilled and trained personnel.

"One of the elements which sets the Cork Institute of Technology apart is its commitment to multilevel education to meet the needs of the community. I want to applaud the students, past and present, the dedicated staff and management and the governing body for their work."

The director of the institute, Mr Patrick Kelleher, said he welcomed the new status as it would help the college to further the vital interests of the region. The chairman of the governing body, Cllr Donal O'Rourke, said the upgrading of the college was a significant benchmark in its history.