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Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., launches ITB's new Horticulture facilities.

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22/09/2014 12:48:02

ITB new Horticulture Facility launch

 

Tom Collins, Chairman and Dr. Mary Meaney, President, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown's (ITB) are pictured with Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., as she officially launches the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown's (ITB) new Horticulture facilities on the occasion of the 100th meeting of the Governing Body.

Friday, 19th Sept saw the Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., officially launch the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown's (ITB) new Horticulture facilities on the occasion of the 100th meeting of the Governing Body.

Due to ITB's unique location set in circa 22.5 hectares of land on the fringes of the fastest growing city in Europe, ITB have an opportunity to develop facilities that other colleges simply do not have. ITB has invested Euro 1.25m in building state of the art new horticulture facilities which includes: glasshouses, poly-tunnels, workshops and welfare facilities as well as a range of outdoor practical work areas for fruit and vegetable production and sports turf management.

 

 

This investment in up-to-the-minute Horticulture facilities will complement ITB's innovative purpose-built campus. In recent years, developments have included both third generation synthetic and natural grass pitches, sports pavilion, additional car-parking facilities and a shuttle bus service linking the college with Blanchardstown village, the shopping centre and Coolmine railway station. These improvements have been necessary to cater for continually growing student numbers across a range of established and new courses. ITB's hands-on and practical horticulture courses are designed to help develop the knowledge, skills and practical experience needed to work in the dynamic and expanding horticulture sector. ITB's horticulture courses immerse students in the science, technology and business involved in food cultivation, sports turf expertise and plant and landscape management.

According to Dr. Mary Meaney, President ITB, "ITB and the Governing Body are delighted to welcome Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., here today to open this fantastic addition to our campus and to celebrate with our horticulture staff and students. We look forward to welcoming the community, industry and education partners and local schools to visit the new facility at a special open day we are planning later in the academic year."

 

 

The 100th meeting of the ITB governing body took place on the morning of the launch. This, the Institute's third governing body, has been instrumental in supporting the National Strategy for Higher Education (2011) which called for significant policy reform to strengthen and evolve the institute of technology sector; to achieve critical mass through consolidation, collaboration and the development of regional clusters; and to release capacity and increase the sustainability of higher education. In response to these high-level objectives, the ITB governing body has supported the establishment of the Dublin Technological University Alliance (DTUA) which comprises ITB, DIT and ITT which made a submission to the HEA in July 2012 setting out its firm intention to progress towards creating a Technological University for Dublin.

 

 

At ITB, the horticulture courses have been designed to incorporate the theoretical and practical aspects of horticulture and include modules on landscape design, fruit and vegetable production, soil science and plant nutrition, ecology, organic and sustainable practices in conjunction with modules in project management, information technology, marketing, customer service and professional practice.
ITB offers practical hands-on opportunities to develop skills and engage with the local community on real life practical projects, designed and built by students, to a budget. This allows students to practice team-building and collaborative skills. With each project completed, the student gains experience and confidence that scaffolds their learning year-on-year. Two periods of work placement in the industry are an integral element of this course.

ITB offers Horticulture programmes at level 6, 7 & 8 in addition to part-time courses in professional horticulture practice and a certificate in parks and gardens.

 

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