A €25 million grant was announced on Thursday by Minister Simon Harris to fund capital works and equipment in the higher education sector. This investment in third-level education forms part of the Project Ireland 2040 initiative, which was launched in February 2018.
The grant will provide funds to address small scale capital investments based on each individual institution’s needs. This funding comes following the additional €168 million provided to the third-level sector for Covid-19 related supports for students, announced in July.
The announcement represents a substantial increase in funding from the €10 million provided for capital investment in the third level education sector in previous years. This funding was previously limited to the technological sector and will now be extended to the university sector for the first time since 2011.
Under this plan, UCC will receive €1.9 million in funding to put towards capital investment projects such as ICT equipment and health and safety needs within the university. The announcement was welcomed by the UCC with Capital Projects Officer Tim Cronin describing it as “most welcome”.
“The inclusion of the universities in the allocation is particularly positive. Any funding received will primarily be used to address health and safety, and infrastructure upgrades that we have previously funded through loans. It’s important that this level of investment continues in order to maintain the campus and its facilities.”
In his statement on Thursday morning Minister Simon Harris said, “it is essential that higher education institutions can reinvest in their existing estate, renew and update their equipment, and can make capital investments to respond to developments in online and blended learning”.
“Ongoing capital investment is essential to ensuring a high quality academic environment and positive campus experience for students and staff. This flexible funding complements other targeted capital investments in the sector that will help expand availability of student places and transform campus infrastructure over the coming years.”