Response of the South East Institutes of Technology to the HEA-led Reform of Irish Higher Education


Today the HEA (Higher Education Authority) published three papers setting out a route for the reform of Irish higher education in order to create a more coherent system of higher education institutions, better able to deliver academic programmes needed by individuals, society and the labour market.  These papers are part of a wider strategic change process underway in Irish higher education following the publication last year of the National Strategy for Higher Education and include:


  1. Towards a Future Higher Education Landscape
  2. Process and Criteria for Designation as a Technological University
  3. Guidelines on Regional Clusters

The roadmap provided by these papers now gives higher education institutions an unprecedented opportunity to review their mission and present their strategic intentions to the HEA within 6 months. 

 ‘It is well established that the overall strategic intent of the two Institutes of Technology in the South East at Carlow and Waterford is to partner with each other to create a multi-campus Technological University for the South-East. Both institutes have consistently supported the creation of a new type of entrepreneurial Technological University for the region based on the overwhelming evidence to support the case’ says Mr. John Moore, Chairman of the Governing Body of Institute of Technology Carlow (ITC) “ITC looks forward to the exciting work with WIT leading to the establishment of the Technological University of the South East to serve and enhance the region, its industry and community.”

Both Institutes of Technology in the South East at Waterford and Carlow when seeking a multi campus Technological University for the region will present a strong case to the HEA outlining their complementary missions, their strong national and international alliances, their distinctive research activities, their unrivaled commitment to lifelong learning and their proven agility and responsiveness to business and community needs’ says Dr Donal Ormonde, Chairman of the Governing Body of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) ‘The creation of a University for the South East will be an important driver of sustainable economic development and WIT look forward to a productive partnership with ITC in this process’

The two South East Institutes of Technology welcome publication of the process and criteria for designation of Technological Universities and look forward to demonstrating their collective capacity and performance in meeting the criteria as part of the designation process.  Both institutions have been engaged in high level discussions geared towards implementing the Programme for Government commitment to exploring the establishment of a Technological University in the South East which is clearly differentiated from existing Irish Universities.  In relation to future steps in the process the institutes look forward to the drafting and early preparation of the appropriate legislation which will enable the establishment of a Technological University and implementation of the criteria and associated process.

The two South East Institutes of Technology have established a strategic planning group to lead and co-ordinate activities associated with the establishment of a new multi-campus Technological University.  The group comprises the Chairpersons of Governing Bodies, Presidents of institutions, Mr Michael McGrath (former CEO of the Irish Universities Association) and Professor Patrick Fottrell (President Emeritus, NUIG) who Chairs the group.