South East’s Mayors unite in support of WIT upgrade

Mayor of Waterford Jack Walsh is spearheading a united campaign by Mayors from all over the South East, urging Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe to elevate Waterford Institute of Technology to University status.


Cllr Walsh was joined at a meeting in Waterford City Hall attended by the Cathaoirligh of South Tipperary, Wexford and Kilkenny, and the Mayors of County Waterford, Kilkenny City, Wexford Town, Dungarvan, Tramore, Carrick-on-Suir, Enniscorthy and Lismore.

All civic leaders present expressed their strong and unanimous support for a university for the region.

“We have urged the Minister and his colleagues in government to move forward with the re-designation of WIT to university status,” explained Mayor Walsh.

“A cast-iron case in support of the University of the South East has been well-made and is supported by many respected individuals, businesses and public bodies. Despite this support we have yet to see any action taken by those in power.

“In our statement, we are once again highlighting to the Minister the importance of a university to the region in addressing the South East’s economic under-performance, and the educational and cultural deficits that exist in the region,” continued Mayor Walsh.

“The designation of WIT as University of the South East would not only increase the knowledge base of the entire region, but would also greatly expand its research and development capacity and provide the basis of vital Fourth Level education facilities on which the knowledge-based economy of the future is almost wholly dependent.”

Added Mayor Walsh: “We will be seeking to meet with the Minister of Education and Science, and will be looking to the South East’s Oireachtas members to secure that meeting

“In addition to meeting with the Minister and the region’s Oireachtas members, the Mayors will attend a further meeting in WIT to discuss the technical aspects of re-designation with the Director of WIT, Professor Kieran Byrne.

“The meeting will provide an opportunity to explore how the re-designation of WIT as a university will be implemented in the region, and to visit the campus and see the many improvements that have been taking place there.”

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