Official approval for a university for the southeast is fast reaching the final stage.
Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan revealed this week that the Minister for Education Ruari Quinn is about to agree new rules governing the establishment of a technological university.
“This will open the way for institutes of technology such as those in Carlow and Waterford to apply for technological status,” said Minister Hogan.
The campaign for university status for the southeast took a major step forward last March when the issue was included in the Programme for Government.
This was followed some months later by the decision of the Minister for Education to fast track the actual establishment of a multi-campus university in the region.
Minister Hogan revealed that Carlow and Waterford ITs have been working together over the last number of months to advance the South East University proposal as outlined in the Programme for Government.
“For the first time ever, there is now a great spirit of cooperation in the region with both colleges working very closely together,” he said.
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn is now set to agree the criteria within weeks, which will lead to Carlow and Waterford ITs being transformed into a technological university with campuses throughout the region.
“Following this stage, the memorandum of understanding between Carlow and Waterford ITs will be completed which will enable them to formally make an application for university status which will be adjudicated by an international panel of expert,” explained Minister Hogan.
Minister Hogan who met both Carlow and Waterford IT bosses this week, revealed that he and Wexford based Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin are pushing the South East University agenda.
“It is critical for commercial progress that we have educational opportunity in the southeast,” he said.