Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD has today (Friday) confirmed he has received an application from Waterford Institute of Technology and IT Carlow, seeking to establish a technological university in the South East under the prescribed legislative requirements of the Technological Universities Act 2018.
The joint application seeks the establishment of a new university. This would be subject to the applicant institutes meeting the eligibility criteria set out in the 2018 Act and the various requirements to which the Minister must have regard in his role as legislative decision-maker on the application.
The Minister is now required to appoint an advisory panel to assess the application and to be furnished with their report in due course, the views of the Higher Education Authority on it and any other relevant information considered relevant before making his decision.
Commenting on the historic occasion John Moore, Chair of IT Carlow Governing Body said: “Submitting the application for technological university designation is a major milestone in our decade-long work to create a TU of international standing in our region which will, above all, benefit our students and successive generations of students.”
Jim Moore, Chair of WIT Governing Body acknowledged the part of staff, students and stakeholders: “The sterling work completed by our staff, students and many important stakeholders over many years to develop the TU is evident in the strong and ambitious application that has been submitted, which we hope is well placed to stand up to the rigours of panel review.”
In a communication today to staff and students, the presidents of the institutes, Dr Patricia Mulcahy and Prof Willie Donnelly, expressed their confidence in the success of the application.
The Minister said: “This is the fourth application for TU designation to be made under the 2018 legislation by a consortium of Institutes of Technology, in this case the TUSEI consortium”.
“The making of this application is of itself a significant milestone for the TU agenda in the South-East after a journey of almost 10 years. I want to thank all who were involved in the TUSEI consortium for bringing their proposals to this point. I will carefully consider the application and the requisite reports and views on it as are required under the Act without prejudice and in accordance with the relevant legislative requirements and timeframes.”
“I am strongly committed to capital investment in the proposed technological university for the South East. Officials from my Department and the Higher Education Authority are in ongoing engagement in relation to campus development plans across multiple proposed TU locations - Waterford, Carlow and Wexford. It is planned that over the lifetime of the National Development Plan substantial investment will be required across various locations to address under investment in facilities and this investment includes the vision of a larger TU campus footprint in the South East.”