South-east university hangs in the balance

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Talks have broken down between IT Carlow and Waterford IT regarding a proposed merger for a Technological University for the South-east.

Talks have broken down between IT Carlow and Waterford IT regarding a proposed merger for a Technological University for the South-east.

It seems there is a fundamental disagreement between the two institutions about the process under way, and on issues such as where the proposed university’s headquarters is to be located.

According to statements previously made by former Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, the Technological University was to be a regional multi-campus university, including a campus in Kilkenny.

It had been agreed to set aside a new ‘third-level research and development campus’ on the St Francis’ Abbey brewery site, as part of the masterplan, for the planned new Technological University of the South-east.

The status of that vision is now very much in question.

As recently as the end of September, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Carlow and Waterford ITs as the first stage in the merger process. On October 9, local TD John Paul Phelan told the Kilkenny People that plans for the university were ‘still very much on course’.

The Minister for Education and Skills is now to meet representatives from both institutions in the coming days in an attempt to rescue the situation.