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"At GMIT we develop life-long learning opportunities through our teaching and research, by supporting regional development consistent with national higher education policy."
Learning is and will be the core activity of the Institute, bringing students, staff and the region together to share, apply, test and create knowledge;
GMIT will continue to develop as a regional organisation with an international focus committed to the personal and professional enrichment of its students, the needs of its region, national priorities and global opportunities;
GMIT will both shape and respond to the perspectives and expectations of its stakeholders and will work in collaboration with them to meet their needs;
GMIT will be an organisation characterised by its flexibility, creativity, responsiveness and a capacity to adapt.
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In the 1960s, Ireland was characterised by a small elite system of higher education, catering almost exclusively for professional and public sector employment. The Mulcahy Report (1967) recommended the establishment of a number of Regional Technical Colleges around the country, highlighting that Irish people generally did not have the opportunity to become technically skilled because of the prevalent academic bias in the educational system.
Increased technical knowledge and skills were regarded as essential prerequisites for further economic growth as was the promotion of innovation and enterprise. The Mulcahy Report recommended that the Regional Technical College in Galway be designated as the main centre outside Dublin for both craft and management education and training for the hotel industry.
The first students entered the Regional Technical College Galway on Monday 18 September 1972 and a new era in the educational history of the city and region began.
Role and Function
The Regional Technical Colleges’ Act of 1992 defined the function of the Regional Technical College sector as follows:
“To provide vocational and technical education and training for the economic, technological, scientific, commercial, industrial, social and cultural development of the state with particular reference to the region served by the College.”
This legislation also authorised a college, subject to such conditions as the Minister for Education may determine:
“To engage in research, consultancy and development work and to provide such services in relation to these matters as the Governing Body of the college considers appropriate.”
In 1998, the Regional Technical College Galway (RTC), was legally designated an Institute of Technology and renamed the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).
The Institutes of Technology Act 2006 inter alia, brought the Institutes under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority (up until then they were under the Department of Education), similar to Ireland’s university sector.
Currently, Technological University (TU) legislation is being drafted as a result of the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, which allows for amalgamated Institutes of Technology, upon reaching set criteria, to apply for re-designation as a TU