WIT's graduates of 2016 are well prepared for an exciting work environment with new industries, having completed their studies in an intellectually open, creative and innovative educational community: that's the view of WIT President, Professor Willie Donnelly.


Addressing the first of 11 conferring ceremonies across three days during which just over 2,400 students were conferred with academic degrees up to doctorate level, Prof Donnelly gave the graduates of 2016 words of assurance as they face their next steps.


"The workplace that you are about to enter is a very exciting environment," he said. "The application of science and technologies are transforming traditional industries and creating new industries."


Out of the 2,400 graduates being conferred with academic awards up to doctorate level, 898 are from Waterford City and County.

However, WIT graduates hail from all over Ireland with 339 from Wexford, 280 from Kilkenny, 262 from Tipperary and 125 from Cork.


Prof Donnelly added that the high technology sector is looking towards graduates in arts and humanities to increase their level of creativity and innovation in the design of new products and services.


He also noted the importance of a multicultural society in Ireland’s advancement. "Our student community includes students from 70 countries. Thanks to this we are a more intellectually open, creative and innovative educational community."


Prof Donnelly said it was time to re-imagine the south east region as Ireland’s innovation region at the heart of the multicultural globally connected knowledge economy.


WIT is playing a role in a new type of graduate that can manage their own career path through entrepreneurship, creativity and the institute’s connectivity with industry.


Prof Donnelly also commented that the presence of a university in a region is one of the major drivers of economic growth.


"The creation of a Technological University in the South East remains a priority. Our priority in the coming year will be to continue the engagement with Carlow IT and the regional stakeholders to deliver a University in the South East in the near future.


WIT's Governing Body Chairman, Dick Langford, congratulated students on behalf of the Institute’s Governing Body.


"While buildings and other facilities are necessary infrastructure, they are only envelopes in which the most important transactions take place which inform and underpin the learning, teaching, research and innovation which take place across the Institute at all times," he said.


He acknowledged the work outstanding and committed staff who taught, mentored, challenged, encouraged and guided students and graduates.


"I particularly want to acknowledge their work which has ensured that standards have been maintained and that the quality and acceptability of your awards has remained at such a high level not only in this region and in Ireland as a whole but internationally."