The Department of Education has announced details of 11 large-scale construction projects that are to be built at Institutes of Technology using Public Private Partnerships in coming years.
The state will pay €200m towards the buildings, which will be operated and maintained by private developers for 25 years after their construction.
The Department anticipates that the projects will enable the Institutes of Technology to accommodate an additional 8,000 students.
Eleven Institutes of Technology from Letterkenny to Waterford and Cork will benefit from this Public Private Partnership initiative, getting a building each.
In a statement, Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor said the ITs had been disproportionately affected by the fall-off in capital investment over the past decade.
Minister for Education Richard Bruton said the announcement marked a turning point for state investment in the sector. Most of the new buildings will be geared towards science and technology.
The 11 projects will be procured by the National Development Finance Agency but it will be some time before they get underway. Tenders are expected to issue towards the end of next year.
The Department hopes the first buildings will be ready for use in 2021.
The Department of Education said all proposals will be the subject of ongoing technical appraisal and economic analysis to ensure value for money. It said this process will inform the final scale and scope of each project.
Athlone, Tralee, and Galway Mayo Institutes of Technology will all get new STEM buildings under the plan.
IT Carlow will get a science building, while Waterford IT will get a new engineering, computing and general teaching building.
An applied science and information technology building will be built at Limerick IT.
A library, information technology, and teaching building will be constructed at Letterkenny IT.
IADT in Dublin will see a new Digital Media centre built.
A learning resource centre will be constucted at CIT in Cork, phase two of a teaching block at IT Blanchardstown, and a second phase of campus development will take place at IT Tallaght.
The Department of Education said the projects were selected following a detailed assessment, which took account of projected enrolments, the capacity to deliver on skills requirements, and the potential each project had to contribute to regional development.