A Year of Milestones and the Accomplishments of Over 200 Graduates from Wexford Campus Celebrated at Conferring Ceremony
236 awards up to Masters Degree level were today presented to graduates who pursued higher education programmes of study at the Wexford Campus of Institute of Technology Carlow at a special ceremony at the National Opera House.
Mr. John Moore, Chair of the Governing Body and Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, President of Institute of Technology Carlow were joined at today’s ceremony by Minister of State for Defence, Paul Kehoe TD, Deputy James Browne TD, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Michael Sheehan and Councillors Jim Moore, Malcolm Byrne and Bridín Murphy.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were representatives from regional state agencies, businesses and community organisations, including the IFA, Teagasc, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford County Childcare Committee, Wexford Chamber of Commerce Skillnet, and Waterford and Wexford ETB who continue to support the work of Wexford Campus.
Welcoming graduates, their guests and a broad range of stakeholders, Mr John Moore commended learners and staff for their contribution to the Wexford Campus and asked the assembled graduates to “remain in contact with the Institute and bring your expertise, insights and inspiration to future learners who choose Wexford County Campus to further their careers.”
Citing the latest available countrywide data available from the Higher Education Authority, Mr. Moore said that in 2018 there were 6,061 Wexford people pursuing higher education programmes across the Irish Higher Education Sector, over 21% of whom were enrolled with Institute of Technology Carlow.
“This means that we continue to be the primary choice for County Wexford for higher education. Furthermore, of all those in Wexford pursuing their higher education studies through Lifelong Learning, a huge 61% were with our Institute. It is therefore little surprise that earlier this year the Wexford Campus won a Public Sector Award for Excellence in the provision of flexible higher education opportunities”, commented Mr. Moore.
Minister of State Paul Kehoe TD addressed graduates saying “Graduating from College is not merely about completing an educational course and picking up a scroll. Today, you are marking a significant milestone in your lives and you are very much opening the door to the next chapter of your futures. You are following in the footsteps of over 3,700 graduates from the Wexford Campus of IT Carlow to date – many of whom have gone on to serve in senior professional, academic, sporting and leadership positions. I know too that for the duration of your studies, you have been in the most capable of hands.”
Referring to the step-change envisaged for the future provision of higher education opportunities in County Wexford, Minister Kehoe said “Without doubt, the programmes overseen by IT Carlow have gone from strength to strength. It has become a campus that is now a key part of the fabric of the Wexford community. As many of you know, extensive work has gone on behind the scenes aimed at acquiring a new site for the campus. I can assure Patricia and her team that they have my absolute full support in bringing those plans through to fruition.”
Dr. Karen Hennessy, Head of Wexford Campus commented, “The annual conferring of Wexford Campus students at the National Opera House is the highlight of our academic year. This is the culmination of years of hard work and study of the graduates, the support of their connections and the work of the staff of the Campus and Institute. We have shared their stories, their trials and tribulations for the past three to four years and celebrate their achievements today. We wish them every success in their future careers and encourage them to keep in touch with the Campus”.
In her address to the conferees, Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, President of Institute of Technology Carlow said, “No other occasion in our academic calendar is more meaningful as the Conferring of Awards and Prizes. This is a time characterised by a deep sense of achievement, your achievements, and it is a real pleasure to share this moment with you, your families, faculty members and a host of Wexford collaborative partners, all of whom have played such important roles in your success to-date.”
As Institute of Technology Carlow fast approaches its 50th year anniversary in 2020, and the Wexford Campus celebrates its 25th anniversary in the same year, Dr. Mulcahy highlighted some of the achievements of the Wexford Campus in the past twelve months alone. These include: the first graduates from the BSc in in Sustainable Farm Management and Agribusiness; the first intake of learners to the BSc (Honours) in Tourism and Event Management; the largest number to date of postgraduate researchers based in the Wexford Campus; the development and validation of a new Master of Science Degree in Digital Media with Business Analytics; and commencement of a new joint degree programme between the Wexford Campus and Jilin Normal University (JLNU) in China.
“The Wexford Campus Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual Communications and Design is one of only two such programmes approved for the Irish Higher Education sector by the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2019 as a joint degree programme with JLNU”, said Dr Mulcahy “The first intake of 95 students took place in September 2019 and the opening ceremony for the joint degree programme between Wexford Campus and JLNU took place in Siping China last week. We are very proud of this achievement and congratulations to everyone who made this possible”, said Dr. Mulcahy.
Dr. Mulcahy also thanked the Wexford campus staff, led by Head of Campus, Dr Karen Hennessy, and the many Wexford collaborative partners saying, “We acknowledge the 50+ businesses, 80 placement sites and 24 voluntary and statutory agencies who are so supportive of our faculty and the work of the Wexford Campus. Know that we value our collaborative partnerships with you greatly and we are ambitious for what we can continue to achieve together”.
Referring to the ongoing Technological University Project, Dr Mulcahy said, “The Irish TU concept is distinctive in its embeddedness in local and regional economies and communities, at the same time, reaching out to bring beneficial international education and research practices back into our regions and country. We are committed to realising this concept for our regions, transversing the counties of the South-East region of course, and the counties of Wicklow, Kildare and Laois in the Mid-East and Midlands regions. That is why we continue to prioritise and invest considerable time and resources in this project because we know that this has the potential to further increase our contribution to the societies that we were created to serve.”
Dr Mulcahy concluded her address saying, “Graduates, you graduate to a world that is changing fast, but know that you now have a new elevated platform for all the adventures that lie ahead of you. Remember to have confidence in that. Remember to keep an open mind, an open heart, and an open will. You are a great credit to yourselves, your families, the Wexford Campus and this Institute, and we are all very proud of you. We wish you every success and happiness.”