Minister Phil Hogan Voices Support for IT Carlow’s University Bid as over 1,400 Students Conferred
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD, was guest of honour at Institute of Technology Carlow as over 1,400 students were conferred with Doctorates, Masters, Degrees and Higher Certificates on Friday 4th and Saturday, 5th November 2011.
In his address to graduates, staff and visitors, Minister Hogan outlined his vision and support for the Programme for Government’s commitment to creating a multi-campus University in the South-East. He voiced praise for the huge contribution that the Institute of Technology Carlow has made and continues to make to the economic, social and cultural development of the region. ‘I am particularly impressed by the growth in part-time opportunities available at ITC which has grown to 1,500 students, or almost 30% of the total student population of 5,000’ said Minister Hogan. In relation to the new University he described his vision as being ‘A multi-campus University that must be for all in the South East and based upon a joint ownership model which ensures equality and inclusiveness, and focussed on economic recovery and sustainable economic development for the region’.
The President of the Institute, Dr Ruaidhri Neavyn, acknowledged in his address the visionary initiative taken by Minister Hogan and his colleagues in including the recommendation to explore the establishment of a multi-campus Technological University in the South East and said ‘This University is something that IT Carlow have consistently sought and the Government’s proposal is supported by the Governing Body of the Institute.’ The President further pointed out that ‘the Governing Body, looked forward to the campuses of ITC being key and highly influential to any proposed multi-campus University for the South East.’
The conferring ceremonies took place in the new purpose-built state-of-the-art Student Services Centre which was recently completed at a cost of €8 m. This Centre incorporates extensive state-of-the-art sports and recreational facilities, in addition to accommodating a wide range of integrated student support services including a medical centre, student union facilities, careers and counselling services. This development is part of a €40 m building programme, the next phase of which is due to commence in early 2012 with the construction of a new Postgraduate Research, Development and Innovation Centre at a cost of €5 m.