Now that all five planned technological universities in Ireland have been established, you’re likely going to be seeing some changes in CAO lists, course codes and the names of certain colleges. Is it confusing? Not if you have all of the facts.
For the month of July, ICL has been lifting the lid on each of the five technological universities, providing the need-to-know practical information as well as new courses, programmes and the benefits these universities will bring to their regions.
Last week, we focused on the university in the Southwest, MTU (Munster Technological University). This week, we go to the sunny south east and South East Technological University (SETU).
The newest addition
Southeast Technological University came into being earlier this year, in 2022, and as the youngest of all of our new technological universities, the two universities involved, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Institute of Technology Carlow (ITC), are both finding their way post-launch and feeling optimistic for their educational future.
In a recent address to the Waterford Chamber, newly appointed SETU president, Professor Veronica Campbell, expressed her excitement at the array of opportunities SETU would bring to the region of the south east.
“SETU is, quite simply, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - for me, for Waterford, for the whole South East, for Ireland,” she said.
“We have this incredible opportunity to drive regional innovation and economic, social and cultural prosperity; to reverse the brain-drain in the south-east; to foster a genuinely entrepreneurial culture; and to improve educational access for all cohorts.”
Strengthening the region
SETU, like our other new technological universities, came into being on the recommendations of the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030.
As institutes of technology did in the past, technological universities like SETU have been developed to meet the evolving needs of their region.
When Veronica refers to “brain drain”, she means losing talent to other areas due to lack of opportunities. SETU aims to bring opportunities to the south east and retain the talent within.
SETU communications officer Muirghin Brophy says there has been huge interest from prospective students who are keen to find out what SETU might mean for them and their future.
“It will be an exciting time for staff in SETU as we make plans to open our doors as a university to over 18,000 undergraduate, postgraduate and part-time students for the first time this September,” she says.
“More than 3,000 first years from the south east, around Ireland and the world will make history this September when they start their university journey on SETU’s campuses in Waterford, Carlow and Wexford.”
New course offerings
With new beginnings come new course offerings, and SETU plans to introduce a good number this year. Their Wexford campus is offering a new BSc (Level 7 and 8) in Organic Agriculture and the Carlow campus has launched a new BSc (Level 7 and 8) in Agricultural Systems Engineering.
The Carlow campus has also launched a BSc (Level 7 & 8) in Set Design and Construction, while at their Waterford Campus, a new BA (Level 7) in Tourism and Hospitality Services adds to an already impressive suite of study options in the tourism and hospitality sector.
The agriculture courses mentioned already are in addition to their other ag-focused offerings, including their BSc (Level 7 and 8) in Sustainable Farm Management and Agribusiness (Wexford Campus). Their Waterford campus offers a BSc (Level 8) in Agricultural Science and a BSc (Level 7) in Agriculture as well as a BSc (Level 7) in Horticulture and a BSc (Level 7) in Forestry.
“Our courses are designed to provide students with the skills they will need in their future path,” Muirghin says.
“We are constantly evolving how and what we teach based on input from employers, the latest research and our students themselves.
We aim to understand how students learn best, and deliver teaching that fits. Many of our courses involve ‘learn by doing’ elements and so lab and studio based hours are key, but the majority of our courses do offer blended learning and e-learning options to provide maximum flexibility to each student.”
Which colleges have combined to create this university?
SETU is a regional university, with campuses for full and part time undergraduate study in Waterford, Carlow and Wexford along with campuses for part-time study in Wicklow and research in Kilkenny.
SETU’s legacy colleges, which combined to create this technological university, are Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Institute of Technology Carlow (ITC).
More than 18,000 total students
SETU provides opportunity for students across a wide range of courses in technology, business, engineering, the arts, humanities, sport and health, and the sciences from full and part-time undergraduate courses, right through to PhD, postdoctoral awards and research opportunities.
Both Carlow and Wexford offer a variety of near-campus student accommodation, most of which is within a five- to 10-minute walk from the respective campuses.
The Waterford campus offers on-campus accommodation; located on Cork Road Campus (College Campus Accommodation).
They also have City Campus Accommodation, which is a 20-minute walk from the Cork Road Campus; two minutes from their College Street Campus and a five minute walk to the city centre.
On-campus accommodation fills early but there is plenty of off-campus accommodation on offer all over the city and in surrounding areas.
There is an accommodation team on each campus who can assist students in finding suitable accommodation.