Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D., has today re-affirmed Government’s commitment to a Technological University for the South East.
Minister Harris was speaking at a new Regional Engagement Advisory Group, attended by Presidents of IT Carlow and WIT and business leaders for the area.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “It is a significant priority for Government, myself as Minister and my Department that the South East attains technological university status this year.
“This region is the only one without any university presence and that is a situation that is not good for the region and which must and will be rectified.
The benefits of a TU are significant –the ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment, to retain and create skills and employment in the region and to give students the highest quality education across all qualification levels, from apprenticeship to doctoral degrees, whilst residing in their own locality.
“I want the TU that emerges in the South East to be a magnet for investment, a driver of regional access and development of all types and a catalyst for innovation and change.”
Mr. Tom Boland, a former Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), is the independent Programme Executive Director for the TUSEI consortium comprising the Carlow and Waterford Institutes of Technology. Minister Harris has met Mr Boland regularly about the project.
Minister Harris added: “This region has suffered greatly in successive global economic and financial crises and is crying out for an anchor within the higher education and enterprise landscape that can deliver real change and prosperity; I firmly believe this is what the new TU will do.
“I want also to emphasise that this is a TU for everyone in the region not just for Waterford or for Carlow but also for Wexford, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Laois and Kildare.
“I want the people of the South East not to have to cast covetous glances at Dublin or Cork or Galway but to be proud that they have a university every bit as good if not better than the excellent provision in those cities and others.”