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Campaign for University of the Southeast is Unstoppable

25 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Waterford City Councillor David Cullinane said the campaign for a University of the Southeast was unstoppable. He welcomed the publication of the Port Report which he said ‘vindicated’ the arguments for University designation for WIT and commended all those involved in the campaign. He said the battle for designation was never going to be easy and at times was a case of two steps backward to take one step forward. He said the arguments in favour of a University for the Southeast were ‘compelling’ and ‘unassailable’ while those against were mainly parochial and political. He said the University application should be decided on the merits and its merits only.


Cllr. Cullinane said:


“I welcome the publication of the Port Report. I see this as a step forward in the campaign for University designation. The acceptance of the ‘academic maturity’ of WIT is hugely significant. Equally significant is the acceptance in the report of the economic imperative of University designation for the region. In essence the report puts Waterford IT and par with Universities in Ireland and abroad and vindicates the arguments put forward by University campaigners.


“It is important now to remain focused and united. There is fantastic regional support which needs to be built on and used effectively in the time ahead. The battle for a University for the region was never going to be easy. However the publication of the Port Report should be seen as a step forward. We need to collectively exert pressure to ensure that the Government takes the necessary next step along the road to University designation.


“I sincerely hope that the application for University designation by WIT is dealt with on its merits and merits alone. There is no place for either parochial or university politics in the decision making process. This is not a matter of upgrading Waterford IT ahead of other institutes nor is it about a competition with other Universities. This is about regional development and equally of opportunity for 460,000 people who live in the Southeast. The Southeast needs and deserves a University. Waterford IT is on par with many other Universities –this is about designation and we should not stop until this is achieved.” ENDS

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