IT Tralee working to reduce operating deficit

IT Tralee says both it and Cork Institute of Technology remain committed to overcoming challenges as part of a merger to form the Munster Technological University.

It follows an article in the Irish Times claiming that external accountants have been appointed to monitor spending at IT Tralee amid growing concern over financial deficits.

IT Tralee says it has been vocal on the inadequacy of funding for the third level sector for a number of years; the current grant from the Higher Education Authority to the institute has reduced by €4million since 2011.

IT Tralee says it is not disputing its operational deficits over the past five years and continues to work with the Department of Education and the HEA and its auditors in relation to its finances.

The operational deficit this year at IT Tralee will be €2million; down from €2.5million in the 2016/2017 academic year.

The college says it has presented a number of solutions to the deficit including increasing student numbers and providing niche programmes and apprenticeships and an early voluntary retirement scheme.

IT Tralee says these measures will help it return to an operating surplus by the next academic year.

IT Tralee says Cork Institute of Technology is fully briefed on the situation and the business case for the Munster Technological University states investment will be needed in both campuses to tackle the operating deficit in Tralee and the significant capital requirement for Cork.

Both institutes have reiterated their commitment to the merger.