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Government must act on University for the Southeast – Senator Cullinane

3 February, 2015 - by David Cullinane TD

Speaking in the Seanad today Sinn Fein Senator David Cullinane called on Minister Jan O’ Sullivan to inject urgency into the need for a University for Waterford and the Southeast. He said immediate and decisive action is required and that all options and solutions must be on the table. 

Speaking to a motion on the issue Senator Cullinane said:

"Waterford is the only major city in the state without a University as is the Southeast region. This educational deficit is holding back the region from reaching its full potential. It is no coincidence that the Southeast is suffering from unacceptably high levels of unemployment and a lack of IDA and Enterprise Ireland supported jobs. This educational apartheid must end. 

"The current merger process between Waterford Institute of Technology and IT Carlow has hit a brick wall. WIT has formally withdrawn from the process. The Minister has appointed Mr. Michael Kelly to lead a consultation process. Amazingly he has still not met with local Oireachtas members. 

"It is vital that all options and solutions are actively considered as part of Mr. Kelly's work. One option is to reengage both institutes in the region and get a Southeast merger back on track. However other merger configurations are possible as is the option of WIT going it alone. The merits of all options must be considered with a view to delivering a University for Waterford and the Southeast. The bottom line is that the Minster must act."   

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