independent

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Significant progress made on university issue - Connick

DEPUTY Sean Connick has this week again raised the issue of the establishment of a university in the South East in the Dail and says a very important step has been taken towards achieving this goal.Deputy Connick, tabled a question in the Dail asking the Minister for Education, Mary Hanafin, to confirm if further consideration has been given to the application of Waterford Inst

DEPUTY Sean Connick has this week again raised the issue of the establishment of a university in the South East in the Dail and says a very important step has been taken towards achieving this goal.

Deputy Connick, tabled a question in the Dail asking the Minister for Education, Mary Hanafin, to confirm if further consideration has been given to the application of Waterford Institute of Technology to be upgraded to university status following the publication of the Dr. Jim Port Report.'

Last year, the government commissioned an international expert, Dr. Jim Port, to examine the case for upgrading Waterford Institute of Technology to university status.

Dr. Port examined the establishment of a university of the South East in the context of the implications for Irish education policy as well as its effects on the regional development of the South East under the National Spatial Strategy.

His report was published earlier this year.

The options presented in the Port Report are being examined carefully by my Department with a view to developing specific proposals on the appropriate next steps in the context of the wider considerations involved.

I intend to present proposals to Government in this regard in the coming weeks,' Minister Hanafin told Deputy Connick in the Dail.

The Minister's response to me is highly significant. This is the first time that the Minister has said that the proposals arising from the Port Report are to be shortly presented to the cabinet for consideration. I believe that this is a very important step towards establishing a university in the South East,' said Deputy Connick.

He added that he will continue to lobby the Minister for Education and all other Cabinet Ministers before these proposals are presented to the cabinet and will be asking them to give their full support to establishing a local university.

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