WIT merger claimed the way forward

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is only likely to achieve university status through a merger with its sister ITs in Cork and Tralee. Despite the positive drum which both WIT President Kieran Byrne and Chairman Redmond O’Donoghue thumped at a press briefing on Monday morning, a standalone University of the South East appears dead in the water.

Their comments came in the wake of the publication of the ‘National Strategy for Higher Education for 2030’, authored by Dr Colin Hunt which ‘encourages the emergence of stronger institutes of technology’.

The report states: “Performance criteria for these amalgamated institutes should focus on their distinct mission, and, based on demonstrated strong performance against mission-relevant criteria, it is envisaged that some could apply for redesignation as technological universities.

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5 Responses to “WIT merger claimed the way forward”

  1. Kieran Wymberry Says:

    What’s the point in having a university here when the graduates will have to emigrate to find work?

  2. Norman Says:

    This looks like a sell out of WIT.
    CIT did in WIT’s upgrade in 1998; the college paid for buses of students to go to Dublin and the Minister for Education for Cork Michael Martin gave everyone an upgrade; undoing the good of the FG/Labour upgrade of WIT. FF set themselves against WIT becoming a University (afraid of the other cities), but were too afraid to say it.
    The Hunt report is a dead duck, its purpose was to delay responding to WIT’s university submission. It represents the views of the HEA, the dept of education and the universities- the insiders; and strangely enough it has gone with the status quo. Why would WIT even pick up the phone to CIT?

    The city has made its bid to be treated like Limerick, Galway, Cork and Maynooth. A merger gives the city nothing that we asked for in this bid. I am amazed it is being entertained when we have no government, and the next government has in the past supported the creation of a university here; and when they did something about it (when they were last in power they upgraded WIT and to IoT
    The current head (Kieran Byrne from Cork) is due to retire in two months, his job has been advertised as a five year contract, most senior management has retired in the last in few years- the management bench is empty. It looks remarkably like a white flag is waving on the Cork Road.

  3. Kevin Says:

    Lets be realistic, Ireland is too small for the amount of universities that it currently has. The current economic climate cant support a university in the southeast. I agree with Kieran, whats the point of another university in the state when you have to emigrate to find work, the point of a university is to supply the market with educated graduates, there is no current market and there wont be for the foreseeable future. Lets be realistic, there are more important things to worry about than university status for the WIT.

  4. Pablo Says:

    The country that is recognised as having the best education system in the world is Finland, Finland has a population just slightly bigger than Ireland & has 10 Universities plus 6 specialist universities. So that says that Ireland doesn’t have enough universities.

    Why should young people in Waterford, Kilkenny, Wexford & South Tipp not be able to live at home and attend a university? Why should they have to splash out on expensive accomadation in Dublin, Cork,Galway, Limerick or Maynooth?

    WIT should be a university … Cork already has its own university,

  5. MPower Says:

    This is a sell-out, the same as the Finland experience, with the ‘Other Ireland’, treating the students of the South East as a feeder for their own universities; plus the fact that a lot of families do not have the wherewithall to pay for accommodation for their kids to do courses only available in universities. Those are reasons enough to warrant an university in the South East. These reasons existed in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 and sadly also will be the same in 2020/2030.
    The job carrot is a bit like the developers/real estate agents telling us to get on the property ladder or else. Let us look at the characters who are representing us. WIT chairman Redmond O’Donoghue is the ex-CEO of Waterford Wedgwood, which went broke, after pumping €400 million in, leaving 800 workers and more without pensions, yet he leaves with a massive pension. He was then appointed Chairman of Tourism Ireland by Martin Cullen and yet the number of visitors are down by over 1 million year on year. Professor Byrne talks about values at award ceremonies yet spends lavishly on plush offices.

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