Dr. Ed Walsh, former head of Limerick university speaking on RTE radio on Monday night, again reiterated the Waterford case for a south east regional University.
In an interview on a late night political programme he made the point that Waterford’s case stood alone.
He did not think that Cork needed a second university under questioning from the interviewer.
He disagreed with the last time, there was a change in Waterford from RTC that led to all RTCs becoming Institutes, this should not happen again, he felt if there was a move to a university in Waterford, that all others should get the same upgrade. Having up to 20 universities in Ireland would be too many.
The Institutes of Technology had a place and with Carlow there would still be one in the south east, with sub degree courses in Wexford.
The south east was behind in training and technology statistics nationally and qualified as a weaker region, hence the need to address this regional imbalance.
Waterford and the south east counties were not sufficiently developed in terms of skill for the new industries of the future. This would also affect business start ups
in the area. Without the university it is thus less attractive for investment.
It was suggested that the North West also did not have a university and that maybe Letterkenny in Donegal had a case for upgrade, he pointed out that in this case, across the border there were universities in Derry for that region.
Dr. Walsh made the case also for world class universities and that UCD and Trinity need more investment. Ireland does not invest enough and the free fees issue has led to less money.
The same happened local authorities with the abolition or rates for private houses.
More funding is needed for third level and this should be done through the tax system with graduates on a higher tax amount for five years as a payback to the state, a system he saw that works well in Australia.