Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding approved by both organizations, the member institutions will promote co-operation in the following areas:
- Opportunities for students and graduates of PCHE institutions to pursue studies at the Irish Institutes (up to PhD level) and for students and graduates of IOTI institutions to pursue studies at the PCHE institutions (up to PhD level)
- Professional development of faculty and administrative staff
- Faculty, student and administrative exchanges
- Partnerships in innovation and applied research, including potential for joint research
- Distance education
The 13 institutions, which are located throughout Ireland, offer a wide variety of academic programs, including the arts, sciences and business, with many of the institutes having particular expertise in the area of computer technology. The agreement between PCHE and IOTI is the first of its kind completed in the United States.
“This agreement between Pittsburgh’s higher education institutions and one of Ireland’s nationwide higher education systems is a testament to the quality and diversity of the institutions of higher education that make up PCHE,” said Kenneth Service, executive director of PCHE.
“It is also another example of how Pittsburgh’s colleges and universities are contributing to Pittsburgh’s growing reputation for excellence around the world.”
One of the particular strengths of the IOTI schools is their emphasis on supporting business development and commercializing research developments, Service said.
“This emphasis reflects a similar effort on the part of PCHE member institutions to contribute to economic development in the community,” he said. “This agreement offers opportunities for students from Ireland and the US, as well as potential benefits to the communities that are served by these institutions both here and in Ireland. We are proud to welcome the IOTI institutions as ongoing partners in contributing to a better world through education.”
Gerry Murray, CEO of IOTI, said: “This agreement is unique because it is ‘system to system’, rather than just an agreement between individual institutions. It represents an exciting opportunity for students from the Pittsburgh institutions to substantially broaden their education experience in Ireland, and for Irish students to enhance their education in the United States. I have no doubt that our respective students will strengthen what is already an enormous bond between our countries.”
The agreement is in effect and student exchanges are expected to begin as early as 2013.
The member Institutions of PCHE are: Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Community College of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, La Roche College, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Point Park University, Robert Morris University, University of Pittsburgh.
The member institutions of IOTI are: Athlone Institute of Technology; Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown; Institute of Technology, Carlow; Cork Institute of Technology; Dundalk Institute of Technology; Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology; Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology; Letterkenny Institute of Technology; Limerick Institute of Technology; Institute of Technology, Sligo; Institute of Technology, Tallaght; Institute of Technology, Tralee; Waterford Institute of Technology.
Source: Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education