Dr Patrick Prendergast to chair new Technological University of South East

Dr. Patrick Prendergast, former vice-chancellor of Trinity College, has been appointed the first chairman of the new South East University of Technology.

The new university, consisting of the Charles Institute of Technology and the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), will open on May 1.

It will have multi-regional campuses in Charles, Waterford and Wexford.

Current students from former IT Carlow and WIT, graduating in 2022, will receive a university degree.

Dr. Prendergast will sit on TU’s board of directors alongside Jim Bergin, CEO of Glanbia, and Ruth Beadle, who holds a leadership role at Sanofi pharmaceutical company, which has manufacturing facilities in Waterford.

Minister of Further and Higher Education Simon Harris announced the appointment of Dr. Prendergast on Monday.

“Red Letter Day”

“After decades of debate, Southeastern University of Technology has finally become a reality,” he said. “I have officially given the status of the fifth technological university in the state.”

The new university will bring economic prosperity to the region, Tanayst Leo Varadkar said. “This is the day of the red letter for the southeast.

“I think some of the new IDA jobs we provided for Waterford and Kilkenny last year were driven by confidence that it will happen,” he said.

“The new university will also lead to the establishment of more indigenous enterprises in the region, which will help create new jobs,” he added.

Meanwhile, an application has been made for the 36-acre site of the former Waterford Crystal offices as part of a new technology university in the southeast.

WIT has submitted a business case to the Office of Higher Education for funding to allow it to expand its campus to the Cork Road site, where the glass company once employed 1,000 people.

If funding is provided, negotiations could begin with the site owner, which has been vacant since the plant ceased operations in 2009.

On Monday, Mr Harris confirmed that the application had been submitted to the college.

There are now three TUs in the state. TU Dublin was the first created back in 2019. DIT, IT Blanchardstown and IT Tallaght have been merged into TU Dublin.

Münster University of Technology was established early last year with Cork IT and IT Tralee.

Last October, Shannon University of Technology: Midlands Midwest was created after the merger of IT companies Athlone and Limerick.

In April, Galway-Mayo IT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT will be eliminated and replaced by the Atlantic University of Technology.

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