Deputy John McGuinness'
Deputy John McGuinness has called on Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, to progress a university for the South East and has pointed to Kilkenny for its location for a campus. He joins all of the elected representatives from the region in a campaign to deliver a regional university.
Addressing the Minister in the Dail this week, Deputy McGuinness said, “the South East is an area that has been held back economically and socially in terms of its development. Its qualities may be recognised but its true ability to move forward and what it has to offer has not been given the appropriate status within the state.”
“It is not today or yesterday that we have spoken about a university for the South East. It actually dates back in history in terms of a university for Kilkenny, covered in a book written by Michael Conway and in more recent years, Mary MacAleese began the conversation about having an outreach from Armagh based in Kilkenny, to try further the interest if universities in regions around the country, making them more accessible to people,” he continued.
“It’s not just about geographical location. Its about funding. Its about ensuring the courses that are run there are meaningful, that the qualifications are not dumbed down but beefed up and that everyone has the opportunity to attend university and to better themselves educationally regardless of their age or where they come from,” he said.
“As legislators we must do everything we possibly can to ensure that, not only the financial aspect is pushed out to support others, but that the structures are there to ensure easy access. I would say to the Minister, in terms of universities, you need to look at the strength of a region and I hope that a university for the South East is established soon.
“I want to encourage Waterford and Carlow to come together quickly and to avail of the €90million that’s there so they can complete their application and move the project forward to the delivery stage. By delaying it in any way is simply delaying the possibilities for people and we cannot allow that to happen,” concluded Deputy John McGuinness.