South-east Ireland gets its first university with opening of new TU

3 May 2022

SETU students Josh Moore, Edima Oku, Ishika Mohan, Dayna Fly, Gershom Thangiah, Maeve Williams and Sushan Lama. Image: Patrick Browne

SETU brings together IT Carlow and Waterford IT. It has campuses in Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny and Waterford.

A new technological university has been established in the south-east of Ireland. Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, ratified the establishment of South East Technological University (SETU) on Sunday (1 May).

The new university involves the amalgamation of Institute of Technology Carlow and Waterford Institute of Technology. It has campuses across the south-east in Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny and Waterford.

SETU will celebrate its official launch this September to mark its first intake of university students for the academic year.

The technological university currently serves more than 18,000 students and employs around 1,500 staff. It aims to grow its student numbers to 25,000 and its staff numbers to 2,000 in the next 10 years.

The university also brings together more than 550 research-active staff, nine research centres and one research institute. It will be home to four Technology Gateways, which are part of a nationwide network run by Enterprise Ireland and Irish institutes of technology..

“This really is a red letter day for the south-east. Now for the first time a university stands in the south-east,” Harris said as he signed SETU into existence.

“This new university can build on the enormous strengths of both institutes and really put a mark on the quality of higher education, employment, enterprise and skills creation, expanded research, socioeconomic and regional development in the vibrant south-east. The new university will be building on and with very firm foundations.”

Harris acknowledged the hard work put in to develop the ITs and establish SETU by stakeholders across the region. He said their work would be matched by State investment in infrastructure and new buildings, education and research.

He also appointed SETU’s first president, Prof Veronica Campbell. She will join former Trinity College Dublin provost Dr Patrick Prendergast, who was announced as chair of the technological university earlier this year.

Campbell previously held several senior leadership roles herself at Trinity, including dean of graduate studies and bursar and director of strategic innovation. She currently serves on the board of the Atlantic Institute, based at Oxford University.

“We are ambitious for our new university and for our region,” Campbell said.

“We want to become a leading European technological university, transforming lives and driving growth through excellence in learning, research, collaboration and innovation. SETU will play a pivotal role in regional development, attracting talent, inward investment and research opportunities to the south-east.”

Plans for SETU’s establishment were initially announced last November.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.