Almost €100 million is being invested in five third-level institutions for major building projects, the Government has announced.
Funding has been approved in principle to make 14,000 new places available for students.
The approval comes following a "detailed application and assessment process", the Department of Education said.
Five projects are being backed through the Higher Education Strategic Infrastructure Fund:
- €25m: Maynooth University, Technology Society & Innovation Building.
- €6.6m: IT Sligo, Extension to Central Campus Project.
- €25m: UCC, Cork University Business School (CUBS) Project.
- €15m: NUI Galway, Learning Commons Project.
- €25m: UCD, Future Campus Project.
In a statement, Education Minister Joe McHugh said he expects the projects to have a "major positive impact" in the system's ability to deal with increasing student numbers.
He said: “Ambition is at the heart of these plans.
"These projects and new buildings will have an important regional and national impact but they will also enhance the competitiveness of Ireland’s higher education system on the international stage.”
Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Minister of State for Higher Education, added: "The buildings themselves will be highly innovative and sustainable, future-proofed to support the most up-to-date approaches to teaching and learning, and designed to facilitate the multi-disciplinary engagement that is so critical to tackling the challenges of today and of the future.”
Maynooth University welcomed the confirmation of the €25m capital grant.
It will be put towards a €57m project to build a new academic building, which is due to open in late 2020.
The university's president Philip Nolan said: "This infrastructural project will further support Maynooth University’s research and innovation in areas vital to economic, social and environmental challenges, including climate science, environmental science, artificial intelligence, regional and urban planning, smart cities, the future of work, as well as services innovation, public policy and social change."
Maynooth is also planning to 'modernise and expand' its existing Arts and Sciences buildings by 2021.