The need for a University is growing says city candidate

Fine Gael City East election candidate Jacqueline Kelly has re-iterated what she described as the pressing need to see WIT upgraded to University status.

“Shocking figures reveal that only 11.2 per cent of adults in the south east have completed third level education compared to 15.6 per cent nationwide and 21.3 per cent in Dublin,” said Ms Kelly.

“It has been argued that development of WIT to university status would help to increase the number of adults completing third level education.”

Echoing a sentiment expressed by party leader Enda Kenny, Ms Kelly stated: “Fine Gael agrees with the Port Report, which recommended that new criteria be set out to successfully allow colleges to make applications.

“Such criteria would include independent governance, scale and range of provision, quality assurance and academic standards, university cultural ethos amongst various others. Thus, the application of Waterford IT for university status should be accepted under these new criteria.”

Ms Kelly believes the coalition, as evidenced by Tánaiste Mary Coughlan’s comments in Waterford last week, continues to neglect WIT.

“Waterford has been designated as a Gateway by the National Spatial Strategy and yet no proper investment in education in the region has been made.

“This is something which needs to be addressed, especially with the increase in population in the south east.”

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