John Jennings, Mike Kiely, Liam Noonan and Bernie Goldbach. These are just four of the staff at Tipperary Institute who have been regulars at OpenCoffee Limerick since the networking event begun a few years ago. Not to mention the large number of Creative Multimedia students who have joined them on long journeys to the Absolute Hotel to mingle and discuss ideas with the entrepreneurs in attendance.
Its excellent outreach programme is just one of the things that makes Tipperary Institute special. So it saddens me to read that this element could be diminished in a re-organization that may see Tipp Inst combined with Limerick Institute of Technology in a single organization. Bernie Goldbach would call this new entity the Shannon Suir Institute of Technology but I'd prefer the name suggested by Stephen Houze in a comment to Bernie's blog post; The Munster Institute of Technology –
success of the Munster rugby team in particular, there is a resonance
of success on the name as well the feel of an international brand, and
it's all ready to go. The name also kills off any of that inter-county
I'm a big fan of the user-generated 'barcamp' style of conferencing but the best event I attended this year was ICT in Education at Tipperary Institute. It made for a refreshing change to get outside of the usual echo-chamber and listen to the most highly motivated educators in the country. I came away from the day with a new found respect for the teaching profession and their hunger to incorporate the technology that can deliver the best education possible to our young people. And I don't believe there's another Institute in the country that could have made the day a better annual success story.
There's something very special about the culture of education at Tipperary Institute. Perhaps we can afford to change its name but we can't afford to lose its essence.