Official establishment of Ireland’s brand new University of Technology

The country’s newest technology university was officially created as a result of the merger of the Waterford Institute of Technology and IT Carlow.

The Southeast Technological University (SETU) is the first university in the region and follows a decade-long campaign that has been divisive among some staff.

The new university has a total student population of 18,500 across four campuses. Students from previous institutes who will graduate this academic year 2021/2022 will do so with academic qualifications.

SETU is the fifth technological university to be established in recent years and is part of a wider government policy to create larger and higher capacity higher education institutions.

Some critics, however, argue that the creation of tech universities is an elaborate exercise in rebranding and puts the sector at risk of moving away from its strengths in skills-based education.

Strengths

Further and Further Education Minister Simon Harris said the creation of a new institution was a “red day” for the South East.

“Now, for the first time, a university is in the southeast. This new university can build on the enormous strengths of both institutes and truly mark the quality of higher education, employment, business and skills creation, expanded research, socio-economic development and regional in the vibrant Southeast.

He said the new university will attract more investment, new infrastructure and additional funds for research.

Professor Veronica Campbell of Trinity College Dublin has been appointed as the first president of the new University of Technology.

“We are ambitious for our new university and for our region,” she said. “We want to become a leading European technology university, transforming lives and driving growth through excellence in learning, research, collaboration and innovation.”

The establishment of the university follows a joint application by the Waterford and Carlow Institutes of Technology last year, which was assessed by an international advisory panel of experts.

It will offer higher education programs ranging from apprenticeship to doctorate.

Catalysts

The government maintains that technological universities will serve as catalysts for innovation and regional development and bring a series of benefits to their regions, including increased foreign direct investment, capital investment, research funding and international recognition.

It says they will also enable students, staff, businesses, businesses and the wider community to enjoy increased opportunities in their own fields which, in turn, should reap the rewards of further socio-economic progress. economic.

The development of technological universities has its roots in the recommendations contained in the National Strategy for Higher Education by 2030, published in 2011.

The government announced in the 2020 budget the provision of €90 million over three years under a TU Transformation Fund to help institutes of technology jointly achieve university designation.

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