28 Nov 2021

Waterford councillors demand action on Technological University for the South East

Waterford families under financial stress over lack of South East university status

Waterford Labour Party demands action on Technological University for the South East

The Labour Party in Waterford is calling for a time limit to be put on the Technological University for the South East (TUSE).

Alternatively, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) alone should be encouraged to establish a Waterford University under the Universities Act 1997.

In a joint statement by Labour councillors Seamus Ryan, John Pratt, Ger Barron, Thomas Phelan and local area representative Michael Murphy, the party says that the delay in establishing the TUSE cannot continue and that it should be a top priority for the new Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris. 

“Waterford in one form or another has been pushing for a university in Waterford for the South East since the foundation of Waterford’s first University Action Group in 1936. Twenty-six successive governments over 84 years have failed to provide it,” a statement reads. 

“Waterford is Ireland’s only major city without a university, and the recent success of the Munster Technological University, whose technological university application began in 2013 two years after the TUSE’s in 2011, only adds insult to injury in Waterford’s case.

“The lack of a university for the South East is of particular concern to all students, parents and families in our area who face unneeded financial stress in funding travel and accommodation away from home for higher education.” 

The party says Waterford continues to “lag behind in the knowledge economy” in comparison with other regions due to its lack of a university, resulting “massively to our brain drain and driving away the high-skill jobs sorely needed to fund our regional development.” 

The statement adds: “We sincerely hope that this new Government and Simon Harris as the new Minister for Higher Education will not be the 27th to deny Waterford a university. Whether it be TUSE or if lacking in substantial movement by the next academic year in September, then WIT should be supported in a stand alone application for university status under the Universities Act of 1997.”

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