The passage of the Technological Universities Bill will be a key milestone in the delivery of third level education across the country, according to Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Lisa Chambers.
The Bill passed through the Seanad last week.
Deputy Chambers says Fianna Fáil has submitted a significant number of amendments to the original Bill.
The issue of a merger was a serious concern for both the staff and students in GMIT, she told Midwest News, but the legislation now protects ITs from mergers unless there is a simultaneous designation as a Technological University.
This means that no existing Institutes of Technology will have to merge as a pre-condition of seeking Technological University status which might not have been granted. This was a key precondition of Fianna Fáil support for this Bill.