Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has hit out at reports that the publication of a report commissioned by the Higher Educational Authority has been delayed.
Speaking in the Seanad today, the Waterford Senator stated that the report needed to be published to allow it to be examined and its contents debated.
“I am concerned at reports that the publication of this HEA report has been shelved. Clearly this is a significant report, carried out by renowned international experts, and needs to be considered at length. We do not necessarily agree with all the recommendations which have been speculated upon in the media today, but the findings should be published in order that the contents of the report may be debated and examined.
“I would be particularly disappointed were the Government to disregard yet another expert report suggesting a university for the South East, given that the expert group may recommend a national technological university with a campus in Waterford.
“Numerous review groups, expert groups and reports have highlighted the obvious educational and economic benefits of a University in Waterford. Waterford City is the only Gateway City without a University, and the South East is an area which has suffered in recent years with significant job losses and lack of investment.
“While a technological university may not be all of what the South East has sought, and it may not be in the top tier of universities in the State, it would clearly represent a step forward.
“The location of a University in Waterford would have a significant impact on the economic development of the region, and the funding, and autonomy this would bring would lift the region.
“It’s vital that the Minister takes on board these latest recommendations, and acts on them. The south east has waited long enough.”