1,000 Canadian students coming to Irish Institutes of Technology
Published on: Wednesday, 07 December 2011
Ireland will benefit from a new agreement between Institutes of Technology Ireland (IOTI) and Colleges Ontario which will see up to 1,000 Canadian students coming to Ireland from September 2012 to study in Irish Institutes. In addition, Irish students will be able to travel to the Ontario colleges for undergraduate and post-graduate studies. Cork Institute of Technology President, Dr Brendan Murphy, signed the agreement in Toronto on behalf of CIT.
Fee income to the Institutes will average approximately €7,000 per student per annum, generating a potential €7 million in income for the sector. Students will also generate local economic benefits of about the same amount through accommodation and living expenses.
Ontario is the largest province in Canada with a population of over 13 million. Colleges Ontario represents 24 third level colleges which educate undergraduate students up to the equivalent of Level 7 on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications. The agreement with the Irish Institutes will allow these students to progress to honours degrees at Level 8 and beyond in Ireland. Graduates of two-year college programs in Ontario can secure an honours degree with two further years of study in Ireland. In some academic disciplines, graduates of three-year programs will be able to secure an honours degree with one further year of study.
The first wave of Canadian students coming to Ireland will study in the areas of electronics engineering, business, internet applications and web development, and hospitality. Further programme areas will be added over the coming months. In the opposite direction, Irish students will be able to travel to the Ontario colleges for undergraduate and post-graduate studies.
On the 28th November, the agreement was signed during the 2011 Higher Education Summit organised by Colleges Ontario, an event which featured such high profile speakers as environmental activist, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr; mental health advocate, Margaret Trudeau;and former Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin.
Pictured: Left to right: Mr Gerry Murray, CEO of Institutes of Technology Ireland, Dr Tony Tilly, Chairman of Colleges Ontario Committee of Presidents, Ms Linda Franklin, CEO of Colleges Ontario, Dr Brendan Murphy, President of CIT and of Institutes of Technology Ireland.
Gerry Murray, Chief Executive of IOTI said: “This agreement is unique because it is ‘system to system’, not just an agreement between individual institutions. It is a brilliant opportunity for Irish and Canadian students to substantially broaden their education experience. As well as covering undergraduate education, it also makes provision for partnerships in innovation and applied research, including potential for joint research. There is considerable interest in Canada in the Irish approach to applied research and business incubation in the Institutes of Technology”.
Linda Franklin of Colleges Ontario said: ““The agreement offers tremendous mobility and flexibility to our students. Under the agreement, students will receive financial support to study abroad. For example, Ontario students going to Ireland would see their tuition fees reduced by more than 15 per cent.”
CIT has played a central role in the development of the agreement. President, Dr. Brendan Murphy, currently fills the role of Chairman of Institutes of Technology Ireland and was instrumental in ensuring that the agreement was established on a sector-to-sector basis rather than on the basis of individual links between Institutes and Colleges. Michael Loftus, Head of Faculty of Engineering & Science, coordinated the efforts of academic teams across the Institute of Technology sector to ensure that the alignment between academic programmes in Ireland and Ontario was comprehensively analysed and articulation recommendations developed accordingly. Gerard O’Donovan (Head of School of Business), Jim O’Dwyer (Head of Dept. of Computing) and Dr Joe Connell (Head of Dept. of Electronics) worked with their counterparts in the Colleges Ontario system to ensure that detailed analyses of the programmes in their own specialist areas were completed and relevant pathway options for students identified.