EDUCATION Minister Jan O’Sullivan has praised Dr Maria Hinfelaar for the “incredible” work she has done at the Limerick Institute of Technology.
It was announced on Friday that Dr Hinfelaar is to leave the Moylish-based college in April to take up the role of chief executive and vice-chancellor at Glyndwyr University in north-east Wales.
During her 11-year stint in Limerick, the Dutch national has overseen a major expansion of LIT.
The college has expanded its footprint across the region, taking over the Institutes of Technology in Thurles, and Clonmel, and setting up hubs for small business and people taking on franchises.
LIT also boasts a regional learning centre in Ennis and has just unveiled plans to open a centre for precision engineering students.
Ms O’Sullivan said her reaction was one of “disappointment,” but she also felt it was “inevitable” that Dr Hinfelaar would be invited to take over a university.
“She has really made a huge difference to LIT in terms of the expansion, with the move to Coonagh, and the extension at Clare Street, the development at the School of Art and Design, new incubation hubs, and the Moylish campus itself where there has been great work done,” Ms O’Sullivan said.
On top of this, LIT also has a regional learning centre in Ennis and has just unveiled plans to open a centre for precision engineering students in Coonagh.