"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.
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
1972 Regional Technical College (RTC) Galway opens
1974 First conferring ceremony at RTC Galway
1977 First degrees in Hotel and Catering Management conferred, the first in an RTC
1984 Industrial Liaison Office established
1987 Partnerships with Franciscan Agricultural College, Mountbellew and Connemara West, Letterfrack
1993 RTC Galway becomes an autonomous HEI under the Regional Technical Colleges Act 1992
1994 Opening of Castlebar Campus and establishment of campus at Cluain Mhuire
1998 Title changed to Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT)
2001 Implementation of Delegated Authority for National Certificates and National Diplomas
2003 Opening of IT Learning Centre at GMIT Galway
2004 Extension of Delegated Authority and GMIT wins Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year
2005 Innovation in Business Centre (IiBC) opens at GMIT Galway
2006 Innovation in Business Centre (IiBC) opens at GMIT Castlebar
2006 Delegated Authority to award PhDs in Aquatic Science and Mechanical Engineering
2006 Formal collaborative agreement with Nanchang University, China
2007 Wins Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year
2008 New Nursing & Health Sciences building completed at GMIT Castlebar
2009 Formal signing of first international agreement with Saudi Arabia
2010 GMIT, AIT and WIT sign collaborative agreements in Saudi Arabia
2010 GMIT signs agreements with 2 US institutions
2010 Marion Coy retires as GMIT President. Jim Fennell appointed Acting President
2011 GMIT and Marine Institute form new strategic alliance
2011 Michael Carmody appointed President
2011 NUI Galway and GMIT sign strategic partnership
2012 GMIT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT form new Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA)
2012 GMIT and RTÉ form new partnership
2013 GMIT, IT Sligo, LYIT and NUI Galway work towards a Cluster of HEIs in the West/North West Region
2014 GMIT and LIT form a new strategic alliance
2014 GMIT wins Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year (for 2015)
2015 CUA submits EOI for re-designation as a Technological University
2015 Dr Fergal Barry appointed President
2015 Minister approves CUA application to proceed to Stage 2 of the Technological University process