South East Technological University, or SETU, opened on Monday in Waterford. The first university in South East Ireland, SETU’s launch comes in the wake of a ten-year campaign, with the university having been formally established last May. With an enrollment of more than 18,000 students and 1,500 staff, the university has the potential for great impact within its region and beyond, with ambitions to become a leading European university.

The university’s launch included panels, speeches, and an Expo held at the university’s arena in Waterford, and at the Kilkenny Road campus. The event was streamed across the different campuses, and on social media, allowing for digital attendance.

Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, performed the launch.

‘This is a University designed by staff, students and the people of the South East over decades. SETU is a university for the region but it can have a national and global reach. The vision has become a reality,’ he said at the ceremony.

‘I look forward to supporting Ireland’s newest university to become a central part of our higher education landscape.’

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man sight on white microscope
Photo by Lucas Vasques on What Is SETU?

The institutes of technology in Carlow and Waterford, formerly technical colleges, have been merged to form the university. SETU has a strong focus on research, bringing to the table four technological gateways, several research centres and 550+ researchers. It has also secured over €95m in funds to support these programmes.

University president Professor Veronica Campbell said the university could possibly be ‘the single-most transformative initiative in the region in several generations.’

‘SETU will put knowledge creation and learning at the heart of the region which will facilitate regional development – economically, socially and culturally.

‘Today, not only do we launch our new university, we also officially launch the development of our first strategic plan, which will reflect our ambitions to be a leading European technological university, embedded in the South East and committed to working with, and delivering for, our partners and communities across the region, Ireland and the world.’

SETU is in the process of developing its first strategic plan to realise its goals of economic, social and cultural impact in south east Ireland and in the greater academic landscape. The university has opened lines of communication for all citizens of the region to voice their opinions. Students, teachers, parents, industry partners and the general public can reach out on SETU’s website, or by email at [email protected].

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