A POLITICIAN has accused the county council of not doing enough to deliver university status to Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
The development has been temporarily halted by a row over employment terms at IT Carlow which is required to amalgamate with WIT to form the Technological University of the South East.
Councillor Eddie Mulligan, who is a Fianna Fáil general election candidate, says the council has not been doing enough.
“Our local authority should be leading the way in the delivery of a University in Waterford, but unfortunately they just haven’t been doing that,” he told Waterford Today.
“As the new Waterford City and County Development plan is being researched and prepared for the next six years, the council, under its economic and enterprise responsibilities, must take a leading role in creating the university-ready and smart city of the future by ensuring that there are plans and actions within the new Development Plan as to how we make a university city a reality.”
Cllr Mulligan the Waterford Institute of Technology is already operating at university level from a research, innovation and undergraduate and postgraduate programme point of view and that must be built upon, “especially considering the fact that 72% of students are from the South East”.
“History and statistics show that people from Kilkenny, Wexford and South Tipperary are attracted to sourcing employment in Waterford – we must build upon this critical mass demand and create a strong South Eastern region around a university city,” Mr Mulligan said.
He said the council is right to focus on the development of the North Quays but that development and the creation of a university in Waterford are “intrinsically linked”.
“International Companies will only invest where there is a university and a good healthcare system,” he said.