Efforts to create the a new south-eastern Technical University have been stepped up following the formal announcement by both the Institute of Technology Carlow (ITC) and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) of their intention to submit a detailed business plan for this proposed university to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) at the beginning of next year.
A key recommendation of the programme for government is the establishment of a multi campus technological university in the south-east, and this is seen as playing a critical role in maintaining the infrastructure necessary to ensure sustainable economic development in this region of the country.
Following consultations with government ministers, the two institutes of technology have appointed Senior Director of Online Operations with Microsoft Ireland, Colin Browne, a graduate of both institutions, to the Project Implementation Board.
Speaking at a meeting of the board, Mr. Browne stated that he “looks forward to working to develop and implement the plan to create an enduring and important asset for the south-east.”
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, said, “The establishment of a technological university for the south-east is a key programme for government commitment and developing a business plan to merge the existing institutes is a critical step in that direction.”
Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, said a technological university in the region would be “critical for the economic development. I am delighted with the spirit of co-operation being shown by both institutes in working to achieve university status.”
The scale and impact of such a university would be significant, as it will become a key element of the infrastructure required to drive sustainable economic development in the region of the south-east.
Upon establishment, the new South-East University will be a regional multi-campus university that will operate campuses in Waterford, Carlow, Wexford, and Kilkenny. It will have over 15,000 students and produce 4,500 students per annum to meet industry and engineering requirements, across disciplines such as business, science, engineering, and the humanities.
The University will be worth an estimated €250 million to the regional economy, employing over 1,300 staff. Its focus on research development and innovation will drive the creation of new knowledge and business in key economic activities such as agriculture and information technology, as well as the environmental, biological, and pharmaceutical sciences.
The multi-campus university will also house and support up to 100 new and emerging enterprises and plans to create strategic working partnerships with multinational and indigenous business focused on job creation activities.
The University also proposes to have a significant international element, functioning as a university of international reputation with up to 1000 international enrolments through the creation of partnerships in 35 countries.