Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Ceisteanna (104, 105, 106, 107)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

104. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason, five months after the publication of the report of the GMIT working group on the future of the Mayo campus, none of the recommendations contained in the report has been acted upon and or implemented; and the timeframe for implementation of same. [21571/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

105. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills when an external facilitator will be appointed to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the report of the GMIT working group on the future of the Mayo campus in view of the fact this was promised five months ago. [21572/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

106. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a head of campus for the Mayo campus of GMIT will be appointed. [21573/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

107. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason the recruitment process that commenced in 2018 for the head of the Mayo campus of GMIT was stalled or failed; the reason no head of campus was appointed; the plans to recruit a head of campus; if a new recruitment process will commence; and if so, when. [21574/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 to 107, inclusive, together. The Government is committed to the future sustainability of the Castlebar Campus of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). This is the reason why I established the Working Group in March 2017 to develop a plan that would safeguard the future of the Castlebar campus.

The Report of the Working Group was published in December 2017. It provides a wide-ranging assessment of the context within which the Campus is currently operating, and outlines a proposed vision for the future of the Mayo Campus. It also provides a strategic and comprehensive plan to address the financial and sustainability issues which have been experienced by the GMIT Mayo Campus in recent years.

The Working Group recommendations are primarily for GMIT to implement. However, there are recommendations that relate specifically to my Department for action. In response to this my Department has prioritised these recommendations including the provision of ring fenced funding for the Castlebar campus for each of the next five years while the plan is being implemented. I wish to advise that the provision of this additional funding is contingent on GMIT progressing the implementation of the recommendations of the report, and is subject to review by the HEA.

My Department and the HEA are working with GMIT to ensure that the other recommendations are being progressed. These include the appointment of an external facilitator and the appointment of a head of campus for the Mayo campus.

I understand that the recruitment campaign for the head of campus will be initiated by GMIT shortly. A previous recruitment process had to be cancelled by GMIT.

The appointment of an independent external facilitator who will oversee the transition to the new structural and operational arrangements is a significant recommendation. The facilitator will play an important role in supporting the implementation of a number of the other Working Group recommendations. The procurement of this expertise will be initiated shortly by GMIT.

GMIT has established a sub committee to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the report. This committee and GMIT issue regular updates on progress to the HEA who will continue to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the report.

I would like to again assure the Deputy that my Department and the HEA will continue to work with GMIT on ensuring that the recommendations of the Working Group are implemented as soon as possible, and with appropriate consultation with relevant stakeholders, to ensure the future sustainability of the Castlebar campus.