Over 300 people from Kilkenny were among the 2,655 students conferred with academic degrees up to doctorate level at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) last week.
Ten PhD students were awarded doctorates and four new programmes were conferred for the first time, including the Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Sustainable Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Food Science and Innovation, the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Entertainment Systems and the Master of Science in Business, Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship.
At the first of 11 conferring ceremonies across three days, Dr Derek O’Byrne, Registrar of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), told the Institute’s most recent graduates to have the confidence and self-belief to always take their chances in life and help build a renewed Ireland.
“We live in a society where knowledge, people and production are dispersed throughout the world, yet are integrally connected,” he said.
“Knowledge transcends national boundaries, traditional disciplines and existing organisations. The major industries of today didn’t exist a couple of decades ago and, unsurprisingly, this has impacted hugely on education which is now more firmly than ever associated with employability.
“While unemployment rates have been consistently running in excess of 14%, the rate for graduates has been half of that and the rate among graduates of WIT is half of that again.”
Dr O’ Byrne urged the graduates to celebrate their academic success and acknowledge their future potential as contributors to Ireland’s future. He advised graduates to develop the leadership characteristics that they have begun to developed at WIT:
“Adhere to the principles of professional practice, display courage, integrity and principle at all times both in your professional and private lives; renew your skills and knowledge continuously to remain at the cutting edge of your field and become innovators by creating new industries, renewing existing ones or adding value to society.”
WIT’s Chairman, Dr Donal Ormonde, continued the positive theme in his remarks to the graduates.
“You are the leaders of tomorrow,” he told them.
“Our future, to a great extent, lies in your hands. In spite of the world teetering on the brink of another recession, Ireland has many positive indicators.
“We probably have the best-educated workforce in the world; Ireland is still strong in several sectors; is export led; has strong educational attainment and is seen as a leader in addressing its deficit problems.”
For more information, visit www.wit.ie/conferring