Kieran Foley

A Technological University is to be established in the South East in the 2021/2022 academic year.

The joint application on behalf of the Institute of Technology Carlow and Waterford Institute of Technology (known as the TUSEI consortium) was submitted on 30 April 2021 under the Technological Universities Act 2018 and the news was announced today by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Science and Innovation Simon Harris TD.

Minister for Mental Health & Older People, Mary Butler TD, said: “This is a fantastic day and a quantum leap for higher education in Waterford. This announcement will ensure that those students graduating from Waterford IT in 2022 will do so with university qualifications. Technological University status for Waterford IT will increase higher education access and increase opportunities for students, staff, business, enterprise, and local communities in Waterford.”

She added: “The reality in recent years is that thousands of students have left Waterford to attend university elsewhere. The brain drain of our best and brightest will now cease due the enhanced and equal educational opportunities that will be available on Waterford student’s doorstep. I would like to sincerely thank President of Waterford IT, Professor Willie Donnelly, the management teams, governing bodies and staff who have all made a significant contribution to today’s announcement.”

Also welcoming the announcement, Deputy Marc Ó Cathasaigh (Green Party) said: “This is a very good news day for Waterford and the South East, and for those students who will graduate at the end of this academic year with a university qualification. I would like to congratulate WIT President, Prof. Willie Donnelly and the entire WIT community on this exciting day as third level education in Waterford moves to the next stage.”

Senator John Cummins (FG) said: “This will be transformative for young people and development of Waterford and the entire South-East region. It is good for students, good for families, good for jobs and good for inward investment.  The establishment of a university in the South-East has long been described as a necessity by stakeholders and I’m very encouraged by the interactions I’ve had with industry leaders and the IDA in recent months regarding their positivity towards the establishment of TUSEI.”

He continued: “I would like to commend the staff and management at WIT and IT Carlow for their diligent work and determination in establishing the first university in the South-East. Their unwavering commitment throughout this process in the face of some opposition has been steadfast and they are to be congratulated for their resolve.”