The Abbey Quarter has been suggested as a suitable site for a Third Level campus
Kilkenny councillors have agreed to write to the President of the new South East Technological University (SETU) seeking a commitment that Kilkenny become a location for a major Third Level faculty.
It follows years of speculation and lobbying to secure some sort of campus for Kilkenny as part of the new SETU, which has been formally established. Its new Board is currently developing a strategic plan.
The Notice of Motion, brought by Mayor of Kilkenny David Fitzgerald, reads: “That Kilkenny County Council seeks a commitment from the President and Board of the Technological University of the South East that the Board adopts Kilkenny as a core location for a major Third Level Educational Faculty with a minimum of 1,000 full-time undergraduate students based on a Kilkenny City Campus in the forthcoming TUSE Strategic Plan.”
Mayor Fitzgerald noted in recent days, Kilkenny was considerably quieter with fewer young people, as so many had to leave the county to attend their colleges. He said the Abbey Quarter Development Company could provide buildings and lease them to SETU.
“I think it is long overdue Kilkenny would have a campus for full time students,” he said.
The motion was seconded by Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh, who said she had some reservation about the inclusion of the ‘minimum 1,000 students’ aspect, “but maybe it is necessary to set a target”.
Cllr Cavanagh also suggested contacting Third Level institutions in Dublin to see if they might consider locating some type of campus or outreach faculty in Kilkenny. She said that many students were studying in Dublin but were unable to afford or even find available accommodation.
Acting council chief executive Sean McKeown said in 2018, the council commissioned BH Associates to produce a report which showed a strong case for locating tertiary/ higher education and training provision in Kilkenny. He suggested asking BH Associates to look again at this report, and upgrade it, including updated figures.
The council could then submit this report as part of a submission to the SETU consultation process. The members voiced their support for this proposal.
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