The announcement from Fine Gael today of a new Technological University in the South-East will be transformative for the young people and development of Waterford and wider region, Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has said.
The application for such designation was made jointly on 30 April 2021 on behalf of the Institute of Technology Carlow and Waterford Institute of Technology (known as the TUSEI consortium).
The establishment of TUSEI during the current academic year will include an expansion of the footprint of the current Waterford IT campus, Waterford Senator John Cummins said following a meeting with Higher Education Minister Simon Harris today.
“As confirmed by Minister Harris during a meeting with South-East Oireachtas members this afternoon, Waterford will become a university city in 2022 and everyone who is currently attending their final year at WIT or IT Carlow will graduate with a university degree.
“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,” Senator Cummins said.
“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.
“There is a commitment in the revised development plan to expand the footprint of the WIT campus and the Tánaiste, Government and Minister Harris are on record as being supportive of this objective. I want to be clear about this; I have been engaged in this process extensively over the past 12 months and a meeting will be held this Friday between WIT, the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Further and Higher Education regarding the formal submission of a business plan for WIT’s expansion in the context of the new TU.
“A great deal of work has gone into the plan over the past six to nine months and I look forward to this being progressed further in the time ahead,” Senator Cummins added.
Minister Simon Harris said, "This is a fantastic day for higher education in the South-East region, signalling the establishment during this academic year of a multi-campus university presence across the region.
“We will continue to invest in this new university with new campuses in Wexford and Waterford. The footprint of this TU will be felt right across the region.
“I would like to warmly congratulate and sincerely thank the very many people from the two institutions including their management, governing bodies, staff, students and the wider regional and community stakeholders who have enabled today’s announcement and who can now look forward to an exciting future for this new university.”
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD said, "This is really excellent news for the South-East. It will make it easier for the IDA to secure foreign direct investment for the region and is sure to become an incubator for new Irish businesses which will become major employers in their own right. University of Limerick had a transformative effect on the city and Mid-West region. I believe the same can happen now in Waterford and the South-East."