The government expects that “significant progress” will be made by the end of this year in what has been called “a big step” towards a long-mooted Technological University for the South East.

That’s how WIT President Willie Donnelly described Tom Boland’s appointment to chair a consortium from both WIT and IT Carlow.

Mr Boland was CEO of the Higher Education Authority for 12 years until he stepped down in 2016.

It’s hoped his appointment will accelerate the South East towards getting a university, currently the only region in the country without one.

President of IT Carlow Students Union Thomas Drury says university status brings more funding.

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris says there is still plenty more work to be done:

“It is absolutely vital that we have a technological university for the South East. It is the only region in the country that does not have a university”, he said.

“It has some very good Institutes of Technology in Carlow and Waterford but it is really time now that we accelerate the plans for the delivery of a university for the South East.”

“The project has been met with delays and setbacks over the last number of years, but Mr Boland will now work directly with both colleges to achieve it.”

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