Minister must end educational apartheid by delivering multi-campus university in the Southeast – Cullinane
Sinn Fein Senator David Cullinane has strongly challenged the Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan on the current impasse in the Southeast on the provision of a university.
Speaking in the Seanad Senator Cullinane said it is obvious that dark forces within the Department, the Higher Education Authority and a minority in both institutes who are resistant to change are working against the process.
He said the messing must stop and that the future of the Southeast must come first.
Addressing the Minister in the Seanad Senator Cullinane said:
“I am an enthusiastic supporter of a multi-campus university in the Southeast but not at any price. I am certain that dark forces within the department, the HEA and a minority within both institutes are working against the process. This is unacceptable. Academic politics must not hold back progress.
“Minister, the stalled process is a disaster. It is far too simplistic to place the blame at the feet of both institutions. That would be entirely wrong and inappropriate. You need to steady the ship. You need to stay the course.
“The Southeast is the only region without a university. This educational apartheid must end. The Southeast needs a university but not one at any price and not one that damages either institute.
“The solution, Minister, is partly in your hands. You can change the phasing and the legislation to keep this process on track. More consultation is not the solution. I urge you to do everything humanly possible to make this a reality.
“Can I ask Minister, why you are obsessed with a flawed process? Are you open to change? Why is full university status not being considered for the Southeast? And did your meeting with the former Chairperson of WIT influence his decision to resign? These are important questions which you need to answer.”