The Students Unions in Institute of Technology Carlow (ITCSU) and Waterford Institute of Technology (WITSU) have been working together to prepare for the establishment of the new Technological University in the South East since 2016.
In 2020 formal structures were put in place to progress the project, jointly led by WITSU and ITCSU Presidents, John Fortune and Thomas Drury. Activity in this ‘workstream’ has been structured across three main areas with student working groups examining the structures and processes involved in the formation of the new Students Union. These working groups are also considering how best to ensure representation for all learners across the multi-campus TU including proposals for a new class representative council, a TU Student Charter, new student voting systems and specific campus representatives on SU executive. Ensuring communications systems for all students across the new multi-campus organisation is also a key consideration. Student groups are examining new equality, diversity and inclusion systems and processes, looking at student accommodation and are also exploring how clubs and societies will work in the new TU. In addition, students are active participants in all other work streams across the entire TU project ensuring that the learner voice is central to all decision making.
According to John Fortune, WITSU President, ‘It is great to see the strides that WITSU and ITCSU are making for students’ of the new TU. We have been working closely together to ensure that we will have a successful plan for an effective Students’ Union that meets the needs of a diverse, multi-campus University’.
In addition, ITCSU President Thomas Drury commented, ‘We have ensured representation across the board and have student representation on over 30 project working groups. We are striving to made sure that every aspect of Student Life is considered and have developed proposed structures for equality, diversity and inclusion, accommodation, student voting systems, elections, class representatives and much more’.
The application for TU designation is to be formally submitted next month with the new University, which will have almost 20,000 students, expected to be established in January 2022.