5.2.10 Third Level Education Facilities
5.2.10 Third Level Educational Facilities
Kilkenny County Council has proactively supported the case for the establishment of a multi-campus
Technological University of the South East (TUSE). This is an objective of the Local Economic & Community Plan (LECP) (as per action 4.6), and has been prioritised by the Council’s Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) for Economic Development, Tourism and Enterprise Supports. This has also been supported through appropriate objectives in previous development plans.
Technological Universities were recommended by the National Strategy for Higher Education as a new type of university in Ireland. Internationally, a technological university (TU) (often called university of applied science) is a higher education institution operating at the highest academic level and specifically focused on career- and labour-market-oriented education, research and innovation. TUs will be formed by the amalgamation of existing Institutes of Technology. In the SE, Carlow (ITC) and Waterford Institutes of Technology (WIT) have come together to form a multi-campus Technological University of the South-East (TUSE). The aim of the TUSE is to create “a new fully integrated entity, with physical campuses in Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford, creating a different and better whole that will broaden and deepen the academic, research and engagement activities across the new unified institution, while ensuring a strengthened platform on which to build an internationally recognised and nationally relevant Irish Technological University”. A Project Office has been established by ITC and WIT and an application will be made to the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research and Innovation in early summer 2021 for an order to establish the TUSE.
A joint venture between Kilkenny County Council, Waterford Institute of Technology (Telecommunications Software & Systems Group or TSSG) was successfully established on St Kieran’s College campus previously which is a 3rd/4th level Research and Innovation unit. The centre focuses on next generation internet services and service innovation.
The Precision Agriculture Centre of Excellence (PACE), was established in Kilkenny city through Waterford Institute of Technology with assistance from Kilkenny County Council. It is a new digital innovation hub in Kilkenny which will drive digital transformation of Europe’s agri-food sector.
There is a convincing educational, social and economic case for locating tertiary/higher education and training provision in Kilkenny. The proposal for a third level campus in Kilkenny aligns well with regional policy, especially as regards providing counterweights to Dublin, based on making the South-East region more attractive than it currently is. Leveraging the advantages of smart specialisation, which is based on maximising regional expertise for national and global competitiveness, would be essential. The proposal also aligns with government policy across education.
5I To secure the development of a third and/or fourth level campus(es) in Kilkenny as part of the development of a Technological University for the South East.