University of the South East

Noel Whelan’s article in The Irish TImes on March 22nd provides a fair view of the contents of the Port report on WIT’s section 9 application for redesignation as the University of the South East. There’s nothing in the way bar an ambiguous government policy. We don’t need another report, another review; more time, money and effort wasted. We especially don’t need the government to pander to a glut of me-too applications when groups in the region have been calling for a university SINCE 1969. As Jim Power illustrated so well in his recent Irish Examiner article, the South East is lagging behind economically and the government has to power to change that.
I sincerely hope the government don’t decide they can buy off the 450,000 + citizens of the South East with a cut-price Technical University name change together with a placatory upgrading of any other IoT. Critical mass is needed here and that means 20-25 million euro / year for USE in addition to the redesignation.
If the government pay lip service to regional development, if they insult our intelligence with a derisory gesture, if they cling on to a favourable paragraph in the OECD 2004 report and if they fail the citizens of the South East, I sincerely hope those same citizens remember on voting day.