Tipperary Education and Training Board (ETB) and Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) committing to a stronger and deepening collaboration across a range of joint undertakings in the region.
Recognising their common history as providers of education and training in Tipperary, TUS and Tipperary ETB have highlighted their joint ambition to further endorse their cooperation, thereby enhancing the provision of education and training opportunities in the region. This commitment aligns with the national policy vision in relation to Unified Tertiary Education, announced in December 2022 to allow further education and training, higher education, and research and innovation to work closer together.
The MoU outlines a number of areas that the collaboration will focus on. A steering group, jointly led by the Chief Executive of Tipperary ETB and the President of TUS, along with working groups for specific activities will be established between both parties to support the collaboration. The two initial working groups will focus on the Connect Campus (Thurles) and Kickham Barracks (Clonmel) capital projects as well as academic programme collaboration opportunities.
The Connected Campus development in Thurles will be the first of its kind, serving both further education students and higher education students in Science, IT, Health and Wellbeing, Energy Efficiency and Sustainability. The Kickham Barracks campus will include a College of the Future that will host both further education students and TUS higher education students.
Additional areas of mutual interest will include the development of links between the ETB and TUS in the provision of Apprenticeships, development of joint opportunities to work together with employers and enterprise and exploring joint opportunities and development in the area of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL).
Commenting on the partnership, President of TUS, Professor Vincent Cunnane said, “The signing of this MoU solidifies the relationship between TUS and Tipperary ETB and our extensive engagement over the past number of years. It also lays a solid foundation for future developments as we work together to respond to the needs of the region. The signing of the MoU has identified key areas for collaboration including facilitating progression, potential programme development, promotion and capital projects. We are also delighted to progress our ambitions for our Connected Campus on our TUS Thurles Campus and to support Tipperary ETB who are leading the SOLAS proposal for the Kickham Barracks development. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Tipperary ETB over the coming months and years, and further developing our relationships with additional ETBs in the regions we serve.”
Chairperson of Tipperary ETB, Cllr Mary Hanna Hourigan, welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, saying it will provide cohesive education and training opportunities into the future.
Commenting at the partnership announcement, Chief Executive of Tipperary ETB, Bernadette Cullen said, “This Memorandum of Understanding reflects the partnership that exists between Tipperary ETB and TUS, and it will enable us to develop clear progression pathways for students.
“The proposed Connected Campus capital projects in Thurles, led by TUS through the HEA, and Clonmel, led by Tipperary ETB through SOLAS and Tipperary County Council, are visionary and in line with national policy of a unified tertiary sector. We very much look forward to making the ambition of this Memorandum of Understanding into a reality for students. Work is already underway through various working groups.”
Chair of the TUS Governing Body, Josephine Feehily added, “Today’s MoU signing between TUS and Tipperary ETB is an important step in our vision and commitment to enhancing education and training opportunities for students in the region as we strengthen our partnership. Along with the Connected Campus and Kickham Barracks projects, the partnership will look at many additional areas including opportunities for collaboration on academic provision in the region, up to and including co-design and co-delivery of existing and new programmes, and enhancing progression opportunities to Higher Education courses from Further Education and Training courses.”
Head of Centre, TUS Thurles Campus, and Dean, Flexible and Work Based Learning Seamus Hoyne, was delighted to host the signing of the MoU at the TUS Thurles Campus, today Thursday May 4, and to begin working towards achieving its ambitious goals to expand and develop further and higher education for students in the region.