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Dundalk as it Happens

Fitzpatrick calls for increased funding for Dundalk IT “as a matter of urgency”

Fitzpatrick calls for increased funding for Dundalk IT “as a matter of urgency”

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Peter Fitzpatrick

Peter Fitzpatrick

Local TD Peter Fitzpatrick has called for additional funding to be provided to Dundalk IT “as a matter of urgency”.

Having met with DkIT president Anne Campbell this week, the Fine Gael deputy is well aware of the challenges the Dublin Road institute faces after a budget cuts followed on from a significant deficit in its finances being revealed last year.

Now Deputy Fitzpatrick has called on the Minister for Education to safe guard the institute’s future by providing additional funds.

He said: “As part of the 2016 Revised Estimates for the Department of Education and Skills the third level sector is to get over €1.4 billion, with over €900 million funding for universities, Institutes of Technology and other Higher Education institutes. A further €407 million has been reserved for student support and almost €40 million for research activities.

“While I welcome this funding, I fear that it is not enough.

“I have in the past week met with the President of Dundalk Institute of Technology, Anne Campbell, who outlined to me in great detail the challenges they faces as a result of reduced funding.

“I would urge the Minister to examine the funding again, with a view to providing increased funding to third level institutions, particularly the DkIT. As the only Institute of Technology in the North East of the country DkIT provides a very important service to students of the area, especially those students based in Co Louth.

“Education is essential for our national to thrive and gives everybody an opportunity to further their career prospects. For 2016, 17% of all Government current expenditure will be spent on education,” he said.

Deputy Fitzpatrick also praised the increase in funding for SNAs, with 860 new posts coming this September, and welcomed the opening of the new St Mary’s College school and extensions for the Realt na Mara and Dun Dealgan National Schools.

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