An expedited university for Ireland’s South East?

According to a report in today’s Irish Times, the Minister for Enterprise and Jobs, Richard Bruton TD, has said the Irish government will ‘“accelerate” the establishment of a technological university in the southeast’, in the aftermath of significant job losses in the region. What is presumably implied in this statement is that proposed new mechanisms for concerting clusters of institutes of technology into a ‘technological university’ will now be fast tracked.

I am not opposed to the new framework, but it needs to be worked out carefully. It will require legislation, and this in turn will have a significant impact on the university system in Ireland more generally. Whether this process should be ‘accelerated’ as a response to disappointing job losses may, it seems to me, be open to some question. It is also somewhat risky to suggest, as the statement does by implication, that establishing a new university in this way will have a quick impact on local employment growth.

It is very understandable that the government wants to be seen to be doing something after recent news, but this is a bigger issue than just renaming Waterford Institute of Technology. Some care needs to be taken to get this right.

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3 Comments on “An expedited university for Ireland’s South East?”


  1. If WIT is upgraded then what’s the point any more. Make all State run higher education institutes Universities. Might as well make all the dominos fall together than sequentially, and it will create a boom in the stationery and signage sectors.

    • Norman Wyse Says:

      I love this idea that a WIT upgrade would be a watershed event that would immediately precipitate the upgrade of every IoT, school, VEC and hedge school in the land.

      The demographics say one more university, in the south east, located in Waterford. A little bit of political bravery is needed to do what is right, and no more than that.

  2. Al Says:

    Some good discussion of this on Irish economy.ie with Richard Tol
    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2011/09/09/higher-education-and-research/

    I think the point about moving one of Dublins universities to the SE is an interesting option. Trinity doth needeth more space!!!


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