The announcement that the south east is to get its first university has been welcomed by the presidents of Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow) and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), and the chairs of both institutes’ governing bodies.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD has announced IT Carlow and WIT will become a technological university in 2022.
At a meeting of the south east Oireachtas members, chairs and presidents, the Minister said that all parties were working toward the new technological university opening its doors by 1 May 2022. The new TU represents a positive milestone for the south east – the first university for the region.
Minister Simon Harris TD said, “I am delighted that we will soon be welcoming another technological university into the TU family. I would like to warmly congratulate and sincerely thank the very many people from the two institutions including their management, governing bodies, staff, students and the wider regional and community stakeholders who can now look forward to an exciting future upon the establishment next year of a multi-campus university presence across the region.”
President of IT Carlow, Dr Patricia Mulcahy commented, “We thank Minister Harris for this announcement. Our new university has strong foundations developed over five decades and we look forward to the new national and international opportunities that lie ahead for us as a unitary multi-campus university. With this exciting step forward, we will be better positioned to leverage these opportunities for the benefit of the people and regions we serve; to meet the challenges that we face as a region and country; to drive social and economic transformation; and ultimately to deliver on the ambitious expectations of our stakeholders. We are aware that it will be a great challenge to realise the full potential of our new university and will involve significant effort from all our staff in the months and years ahead. I thank all our staff, students, graduates, collaborative partners, governing body members and external stakeholders for your ambition, support and contributions to-date. Táimid buíoch díbh go léir.”
President of WIT, Prof Willie Donnelly said, “Today is a hugely significant day for the staff and students at IT Carlow and WIT, our many stakeholders, and the future generations who will be empowered by a university degree while living at, or near, home. We have long promised we would deliver a university of international standing for the region. Thanks to the hard work and ambition of our staff and students, we are on the crest of creating the first university for the region. Of course, the student and their families and communities are at the heart of everything we do. Our new status will help positively transform the south east, making it even more attractive to indigenous SMEs and foreign direct investment by linking knowledge, research, education, innovation and international collaboration. We will remain focused on the delivery of a university of international standing and look forward to an exciting future for this new TU and the region it will serve.”
Chair of WIT Governing Body Jim Moore commented, “I am delighted to see the great effort undertaken by both institutes culminate in today’s announcement in relation to the creation of Ireland’s newest TU. The university will inspire and serve its students, staff and the region with dedication and distinction, futureproofing higher education across the south east through learning, research and engagement. The future is indeed bright, and we can now look forward to starting this new chapter in our story.”
Chair of IT Carlow Governing Body John Moore said, “On behalf of all past and present governing body members who have collectively been steadfast in enabling a combined strategic vision for higher education in our region, I warmly welcome Minister Harris's announcement today. I congratulate and sincerely thank those governing body members along with the presidents, executive, staff, students, partners and stakeholders of both institutes on reaching this important milestone on our journey. We look forward to supporting our new singular governing body, president and executive as they play a pivotal role in creating a future of boundless potential for the south east.”