Minister Harris welcomes €3.1 million funding for Irish Higher Education Institutions participating in European University alliances

4 Feb, 2022

The Higher Education Authority has announced funding of €442,000 for TU Dublin to support the University's participation in the European Universities Initiative.

TU Dublin is a member of the European University of Technology (EUt+), one of seven alliances involving Irish Higher Education Institutions, selected by the European Commission to test the concept of transnational universities and examine the potential to transform higher education. 

With 100,000 students across eight partner institutions, EUt+'s vision and mission are underpinned by the pivotal role that technology plays in forging an inclusive and sustainable future, and tackling the human challenges of unprecedented breadth such as climate change, overused resources, growing inequality, and the social consequences of the digital era.

Commenting, President of Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin), Professor David FitzPatrick, said, "Today's announcement by Minister Harris is a welcome investment in the future of our students as technologically literate professionals and active European citizens. There is an urgent need for bold action to tackle global challenges, where technology will play a pivotal role: EUt+ intends to be a reference for policymakers and help drive European strategy towards common and evidence-based solutions to global problems. The Irish campus of EUt+ will also offer a unique integrated European opportunity for students and researchers in Ireland, with unfettered access to seven campuses across Europe."

Irish participation in European Universities is much higher than its European counterparts - just 10% of Europe's universities are involved in these competitively awarded alliances, compared to almost 50% of Irish institutions. This funding will strengthen the role of Irish partners in these alliances, but also support student exchanges, researchers, and engagement. 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, commented: "This announcement signals our Government's commitment to the ambitious vision of innovative, globally competitive and attractive European Education Area and European Research Area, in full synergy with the European Higher Education Area. 

"Higher education needs to provide students, staff, and researchers with the skills to find their way in a changing labour market - where a demand for highly skilled people is rising - and to navigate the green and digital transitions. These alliances will assist our institutions in delivering these objectives while promoting gender equality, inclusiveness, and equity."

Dr Alan Wall, CEO of the HEA, added, "The European Universities deepen cooperation between the participant institutions, their students and staff and pool online and physical resources, courses, expertise, data, and infrastructure. Working closer together will leverage their ability to tackle economic and societal challenges. The participation of Irish higher education institutions in the European Universities alliance demonstrates the strong performance internationally of our higher education system with 50% of our institutions participating in these partnerships".

EUt+ has already been successful with five additional EU-funded projects; AesTheTco, EthiCo, HEI Initiative InnoEUt+, LUDEIA and SwafS EUt+ Extras, with TU Dublin the coordinating partner of two. Other initiatives led by the University include the European Culture and Technology Lab+, which was conceived to consider the human impact of technology, from driverless haulage trucks to the depletion of the natural resources required to replace obsolete, but functioning technology.

Read more about the European University of Technology.