Cllr Peter 'Chap' Cleere
A local councillor has said Kilkenny is perfectly placed to be a potential location for the headquarters of the new Technological University of the South-East (TUSE).
It follows the inaugural meeting of the TUSEI Regional Engagement Advisory Group last week. At the meeting, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said it would be a TU for the whole region.
“This region has suffered greatly in successive global economic and financial crises and is crying out for an anchor within the higher education and enterprise landscape that can deliver real change and prosperity; I firmly believe this is what the new TU will do,” he said.
“I want also to emphasise that this is a TU for everyone in the region not just for Waterford or for Carlow but also for Wexford, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Laois and Kildare.”
After the meeting, speculation followed on the airwaves and social media about where the university’s headquarters might be ultimately located — with no decision yet made. Kilkenny councillor Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere, who is the current Kilkenny Carlow ETB chair, says Kilkenny definitely merits consideration for a head office location.
“I am delighted to see after 30 years of talking that we finally have a specific timeline for a new university for the South-east region, with the new entity due to be set up in January 2022” said Cllr Cleere.
“This is a significant milestone for the region as the south eastern region currently does not have university status. Kilkenny is very well positioned to have a faculty or campus as part of the new university, and I would also like to think that Kilkenny would be an ideal location for the new university’s headquarters given its geographic location and capacity to grow over time.”
In 2018, Kilkenny County Council produced a 48-page document ‘From Charter to Framework – The Case for Higher Education in Kilkenny’ in which it specifically outlines the importance and impact a third level faculty or campus would have for both Kilkenny and the wider region, but also for the growth and expansion of the New Proposed Technological University of the South East (TUSE).
“It is important that this new university be underpinned with significant capital investment, revenue investment and has to be linked to industry,” said Cllr Cleere.
“There is no point in just changing the name over the door and everything to stay the same. This new university will be only university in the region, with two existing significant campuses in Carlow and Waterford, but more campuses to be added in this new multi campus approach.
“This new university will have to meet the needs of society. It will have to provide greater choice and give greater options to families and students in the region. The social and economic benefit to the region will be huge, and should help counter act the current drain on spending in the region which currently exists due to the exodus to other locations to attain university qualifications.”