Editorial first published in May 23rd edition of the Waterford News & Star
THE launch of South East Technological University’s first Strategic Plan on Monday (May 22) is an important marker for our regional university. Titled ‘Connecting for Impact’, it suggests a firm, directional approach and vision, spear-headed by SETU President Veronica Campbell.
Key to the strategy is SETU’s clearly declared ambition to develop “the skills and capacity of the regional labour force” and drive regional innovation.
‘The first exciting new element of this promised new departure for third level education in Waterford city will be a “University-Enterprise Quarter”’
The ultimate aim is to create high quality jobs and further improve the quality of life for people living in the region.
A significant priority of the plan is improving access to education. There has been much coverage over the years of the South East’s educational deficit – and also the brain drain out of the region, caused in large part by students leaving for education elsewhere – to cities such as Cork, Dublin and Limerick, and never returning home and joining our workforce locally. Improving access pathways to third level education in Waterford and its fellow regional SETU campuses will play a crucial twofold role in both improving educational aspirations for the young people of Waterford, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, and in turn making it more attractive for them to stay and build their working lives within the region.
In Waterford, the first exciting new element of this promised new departure for third level education in the city will be a “University-Enterprise Quarter” at the former Waterford Crystal site on the Cork Road. The Waterford News & Star looks forward to the speedy delivery of all elements of this strategy – as we have reported ad nauseum on projects promised but never or yet to be delivered for WIT and SETU. Let’s hope that this strategy is indeed the start of a new era that copper-fastens regional educational equality, and truly measures up to what our young people deserve.
Gateways and greenways
A shout out for two positive developments in Waterford in recent weeks – firstly the official opening of the Kilmeaden link to Waterford Greenway, as covered in this edition. It is wonderful to see the community come out in force to welcome a fantastic asset for the Kilmeaden/Ballyduff area.
Meanwhile, in the city a tastefully finished monument to the ‘Port Láirge mud boat’, which has long since departed its work station on the River Suir, now takes pride of place on the Merchants Quay roundabout. The propellor of the fondly remembered boat has been beautifully restored and is accompanied by impeccably finished signage in English and Irish stating ‘Port of Waterford/ Calafort Phort Láirge’. It is a very strong, new welcoming feature to the city’s quay front – and aligns nicely with the works ongoing to reinvent the city’s North and South Quays, and thereby the most crucial entrance to our historic port city.