The Department for Education has announced a reorganisation of the higher education sector that includes the creation of Technological Universities.
The department also announced the formation of regional clusters between universities and institutes of technologies.
Three groups of institutes are to progress towards technological university status.
These are the Dublin Institute of Technology, the IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown; the Cork Institute of Technology and IT Tralee; and the Waterford Institute of Technology and Carlow Institute of Technology.
Applicants for the new status must prepare a plan to meet the criteria to become a Technological University.
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has also asked the Higher Education Authority to establish regional clusters of institutions across three regions - Dublin/Leinster, the South/South East and West/Mid-West.
In addition, the minister is asking the HEA to establish regional clusters of institutions in three identified regions, Dublin/Leinster, the South/South East and West/Mid/West.