16 May 2022

Editorial: Regional co-operation is only hope for university success


File pic: A merger, involving two insitutes and encompassing multiple counties, necessitates some compromise

As with far too many other badly-needed and long-sought projects for Kilkenny and the South-East, we eagerly await the next morsel of information dropping our way indicating some progress on the Technological University of the South East (TUSE).

While everyone is keen to put their best foot forward and expound on their merits, no one county is going to have it all their own way. A merger, involving two insitutes and encompassing multiple counties, necessitates some compromise.

The reaction from some quarters - to a suggestion that Kilkenny might even be considered as a possible headquarters location - is unhelpful. On social media, some even called for stakeholders to deliberately stall the process unless their preferred location is selected. This attitude will only see us all spend longer in the mire.

We must try to see — and at least listen — to the merits of our county neighbours with whom we share a vested interest. Those who cannot are setting themselves up for disappointment.

The width of the net for the ‘South-East’ moniker is being cast wide. Wicklow and Kildare were among the areas mentioned in the latest statement from the Minister but that should not be a cause for alarm. We should try and bring in as many people as possible, welcome the interest and the talent — while crucially catering to the needs of people here.

The divisions to date have not served anyone well, and are among the reasons we are still waiting for the university while other regions have progressed. Let’s hope all can work together in the spirit of harmony to the benefit of all.

Of course Kilkenny has strong merits in its favour. So do other counties — that can be acknowledged without drama. The experts and the key stakeholders will take all into account and decide.

Now, more than ever is when regional co-operation should be emphasised. Wherever the HQ is ultimately located, it is in all of our interests to get behind it and move forward.

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