“Our resolve and ambition will not diminish” says President Mulcahy as 250 Wexford Campus graduates are conferred
Institute of Technology Carlow Wexford Campus has risen to become the largest provider of third-level education for Wexford’s 5,000 plus higher education students, with 20% of the county’s student population now enrolled at the Institute. This important milestone, according to its President Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, further strengthens the Institute’s resolve and ambition to procure a new green field site as the first phase of a significant and long-term strategic plan for Wexford Campus.
Dr. Mulcahy was speaking at today’s conferring ceremony at Wexford’s National Opera House of some 250 graduates of Wexford Campus, who were conferred with awards up to Masters Level across a range of disciplines. They now join a larger community of over 3,500 Wexford Campus graduates and more than 50,000 Institute of Technology Carlow alumni.
In her address, Dr. Mulcahy referenced the establishment of the Wexford Campus in 1995 as “an audacious move for that time that met with considerable opposition for many years”. And despite this week’s setback of not proceeding with the current preferred green field site for the Wexford Campus, Dr. Mulcahy expressed confidence that the situation would be resolved.
“Be assured that we are working hard with all influencers to fix this situation. Our resolve and ambition for the Wexford Campus development is in no way diminished. We are determined to take our Institute into the next 50 years, to realised our vision for a new type of Irish Technological University; a multi-campus university of international repute. And Wexford Campus is central to this vision”, said Dr. Mulcahy.
The President praised the collaborative partnership between Wexford Campus and Wexford County Council in driving economic development in the county and beyond. She highlighted the new €3mn EU-funded BUCANIER project that has seen the Institute join forces with Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Wexford County Council, their Welsh counterparts and Swansea University, to help boost trade and provide specialist research and development support to businesses in key growth sectors, including food and drink, life sciences and renewable energy.
She also highlighted the partnership with Wexford County Council, UNUM and Wrightway Insurance in the proposed FinTech centre, focused on developing advanced and emerging technology based solutions for the financial services sector: a sector that already has a large cluster of companies in the South East region, and Wexford in particular
She pointed to links forged by Wexford campus with more than 70 local businesses that have, in turn, benefited from having access to a pool of highly motivated and skilled graduates and cited the close interaction with key stakeholders in the county. The Wexford Campus Lifelong Learning (LLL) programme development and diversification has resulted in collaborations with TUSLA, Wexford Chamber of Commerce Skillnets, HSE, BIM and the IFA, resulting in a record number of students studying through LLL at the Wexford Campus in the current academic year. Springboard initiatives at the Campus provide fully funded programmes to degree level in areas of growing employment and career opportunities and graduates from the Wexford Campus are professionally ready, assisted by the array of placement opportunities in programmes across more than 130 organisations throughout the county. People are prepared to travel the length of the country to attend unique programmes provided by the Wexford Campus, such as the new Level 8 Higher Diploma in Business in AquaBusiness.
“We have already achieved so much together and undoubtedly there will be many new opportunities and successes”, commented Dr. Mulcahy.
Addressing the conferees, Minister of State Paul Kehoe TD said he was working closely with the Department of Education, Wexford County Council and President and staff of Carlow IT and “together we will cross that finish line and see a campus in Wexford that the students of this great County deserve”.
“On my numerous visits, year-on-year, to the campus of Carlow IT I have seen the incredible investment in new buildings and technology and the targeted and focussed progress that they have made. I know that this energy and focus will lead to similar developments in Wexford”, said Minister Kehoe.
The conferring ceremony was also attended by a number of dignitaries, including: Minister Paul Kehoe TD; Tom Banville, CEO of Wexford LEO; Kevin Lewis, CEO of Waterford Wexford ETB; Cllr. George Lawlor; leas cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council and Cllr Barbara Ann Murphy. They were joined by Mr John Moore, Chairman of the Institute’s Governing Body, the head of the Wexford Campus, Dr. Karen Hennessy, academic staff, families and friends.
The event was the last of eleven conferring ceremonies since early November that saw 2,700 graduates conferred across the Institute of Technology Carlow campuses and locations in Wexford, Carlow and Wicklow.
Since its founding in 1970, Institute of Technology Carlow has generated over 50,000 graduates. It currently ranks as the 4th largest of Ireland’s 14 Institutes of Technology with more than 7,500 enrolments and 800 staff. Institute of Technology Carlow provides higher educational programmes, and research and enterprise development opportunities, through centres in Carlow, Wexford, and Wicklow. The Institute offers more than 80 taught programmes to Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), and boasts the second highest percentage of postgraduates in the IoT sector. Institute of Technology Carlow has the highest percentage of Lifelong Learners in the higher education sector, which reflects the commitment to providing higher educational opportunities for all.
For reference: Alma Feeley, Communications Officer, IT Carlow
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