Waterford's case for a university


Madam, - There has been a great deal of media coverage lately about Waterford Institute of Technology's application for university status. A WIT re-designation to university status is one of the current models for establishing a university for the south-east region. The regional need for a university in the south east is well established in reports such as Goodbody (2005) and the recent Port report.

With a Government response to Waterford Institute of Technology's bid due in the coming weeks, it is notable that other institutes, such as the DIT, have lobbied to be similarly considered for re-designation. It is to be hoped that these "me too" applications, as referred to by Dr Port, do not muddy the waters as regards the WIT application. Dr Port's report is applicable to the WIT case only, as it is set in the context of the Waterford institute and the south-east region. The particular requirements of the south-east, and indeed the challenges faced by that region, are unlike those of other regions, which are already served by universities.

While it may be argued that other institutes of technology, aside from the WIT, operate at a "university level" in certain aspects, only in the case of the WIT and the south-east region is there a genuine, pressing and justifiable need for the creation of a new university. - Yours, etc,