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Landmark Day for Waterford & the South East Region

  • Waterford now a University City

  • Ringfenced funding for campus expansion in Waterford

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has described today’s formal commencement of the South East Technological University as a landmark day for Waterford and the entire South East region.

Senator Cummins said “Today is a landmark day for Waterford & the South East region. Waterford is now a university city and the SETU is one of the largest higher-level institutions in the country. The establishment of the first university in the South East has overcome many significant hurdles to come into being today and I would like to pay tribute to outgoing President Willie Donnelly and all the management, staff and students for their tireless work over many years to arrive at this exciting point.

“I think everyone would have thought when the legislation to enable the establishment of new Technological Universities was passed in 2018 that we would have arrived at this point at lot quicker but today is not a day to dwell on the past, today is a day to look forward to the bright new future of educational excellence within our region. The creation of the SETU was a very firm commitment in the programme for government and I am delighted to see it delivered.

He added “However, nobody will be resting on their laurels, it will be no surprise to anyone that the acquisition of additional land to expand the footprint of the Waterford campus has been a top priority of mine since being elected to Seanad Eireann. Minister Harris has confirmed to me that ringfenced funding is in place to ensure this is realised. I know a huge amount of work went into the business case that was submitted to the department prior to Christmas and this is now with the Higher Education Authority. I am hopeful of further positive developments in this regard in the coming weeks.

Reflecting on the journey to get to this point, Senator Cummins said “I can recall attending several meetings as Chairman of the South East Regional Authority in 2011 regarding the establishment of a Technological University. If you had of told me, it would take a further eleven years to achieve that goal, I wouldn’t have believed you but I suppose it is testament to the tireless work of so many people that we have arrived at this point. I would like to put on record my thanks everyone who has put their shoulder to the wheel to achieve this significant milestone.

Concluding Senator Cummins said “I look forward to our research & educational excellence being further enhanced in the years ahead. Today marks the start of a new educational journey in the region and I look forward to working with the new leadership team led by Professor Veronica Campbell (new President) & Patrick Prendergast (new Chairperson) in the time ahead to deliver the necessary resources to ensure the new university builds on the strengths which have existed heretofore.

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