WIT response to media coverage of university designation

Responding to weekend media reports [Irish Times, Feb 9; Sunday Business Post, Feb 10; Sunday Times, Feb 10] regarding university designation, Prof Kieran R Byrne, Director, Waterford Institute of Technology has said the Institute does not interpret recent reported remarks by members of Government or the reported content of part of Dr Jim Port’s report as representing setbacks to the pursuit of the Institute’s re-designation as a regional university for the south east.

“It is clear from what has been reported to date that the strong and united regional case from the South East has been accepted as an imperative. It is also clear that the academic maturity of the Waterford Institute meets all required standards and performance indicators – both nationally and internationally.

“There seems, however, to be some apprehension that sectoral impacts may prove a major obstacle in the pathway to designation. It is very clear from other higher education systems internationally that strategic approaches can be designed to overcome any of these challenges. They are not genuinely ‘damaging’. What is damaging is the downward economic spiral of the South East – a spiral that will continue unchecked without the intervention of a regional university to facilitate and drive economic growth and development,” Prof Byrne continued.

Quest must continue


“The quest for university designation must continue to be driven by vision and imagination while grounded in the practical reality that progressive regional economies are led by strong educational infrastructure underpinned by universities with strong 4th level research, development and innovation. These are imperatives which must be met in the South East’s case. Delay is not an option. Enough prevarication has been endured.

“The action now called for is the activation of the existing legislation and the appropriate evaluation of the submission made by this Institute two years ago in February 2006 – the aptly-entitled ‘Realising the Future’.”

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