Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People and Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford, Mary Butler, has today welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, that he has received an application from Waterford Institute of Technology and IT Carlow, seeking to establish a Technological University in the South East.

The joint application seeks the establishment of a new university. This would be subject to the applicant institutes meeting the eligibility criteria set out in the Technological Universities Act 2018 and the various requirements to which the Minister must have regard in his role as legislative decision-maker on the application.

Minister Butler commented, “I am very pleased to welcome news that Technological University status for the South East is finally within sight. This is vital to our region and an issue I have fought for, over many years.  It will benefit future generations of students and the region’s long-term development.

“Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the reality of thousands of students leaving the South East each year to attend university elsewhere, we must do everything in our power to prevent the continued acceleration of this brain drain.

“Significant capital investment from Government will be required to drive this process and ensure the success of the Technological University in the South East. It’s something I have raised with Minister Harris and I understand that he is strongly committed to getting this project across the line.

“Officials from the Department and the Higher Education Authority are in ongoing engagement in relation to campus development plans across multiple proposed TU locations – Waterford, Carlow and Wexford. It is planned that over the lifetime of the National Development Plan substantial investment will be required across various locations to address under investment in facilities and this investment includes the vision of a larger TU campus footprint in the South East.

“I firmly believe that this application will secure the educational future of our children and grandchildren and I very much look forward to seeing Waterford established as a University city next year,” concluded Minister Butler.