Waterford Institute of Technology

Waterford Institute of Technology

Infobox University
name = Waterford Institute of Technology
native_name = Institiúid Teicneolaíchta Phort Láirge
latin_name =

image_size = 100px
motto = Foirfe chun fónaimh
(Resolved to Serve)
established = 1970
type = Public
endowment =
staff = 1,000
faculty =
chairman = Redmond O'Donoghue
provost =
principal =
director = Kieran R. Byrne
registrar = Paddy Downey
chancellor =
vice_chancellor =
dean =
head_label =
head =
students = 10,000
undergrad =
postgrad =
doctoral =
part-time =
city = Waterford
state =
country = Republic of Ireland flagicon|Ireland
campus =
free_label =
free =
colors =
colours =
mascot =
nickname =
affiliations =
website = http://www.wit.ie

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is a state funded third-level educational institution situated in the city of Waterford, Ireland. The Institute has six Schools and 16 Departments.

The institute opened in 1970 as a regional technical college and adopted its present name on May 7th, 1997 [ [http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1997/en/si/0199.html Regional Technical Colleges Act, 1992 (Amendment) (No. 2) Order, 1997] ] . Professor Kieran Byrne has been Director of the Institute since May 2001.


At the time of the founding of the RTC, there were two other third-level level institutions in the city, St John’s Seminary [ [http://archives.tcm.ie/waterfordnews/2004/01/23/story13295.asp Waterford News and Star which notes the closing of the St John's Seminary in 1999] ] and De La Salle Brothers [ [http://www.golftravelireland.net/accommodations/Faithlegg_House_Hotel.htm Reference to Faithlegg being a novitiate college] ] teacher training college, but both had been closed.

Waterford politicians made strenuous but unsuccessful efforts to locate a university in Waterford at the time of the formation of the Queen's University of Ireland in the 1840s. The cause was led by Thomas Wyse, Waterford’s then Member of Parliament, who was perhaps chosen unwisely as he was not influential in Parliament, having strong Napoleonic links (he married a niece of Napoleon I of France), being a Catholic and leaning towards an independent Ireland. Galway, a much smaller city at the time, won out over Waterford, perhaps because of the necessity for geographical dispersion or to bolster the Irish language. Wyse wrote in the round on the matter in his text "Education reform or the necessity of a national system of education" (London, 1836).

The institute was founded in 1970 as Regional Technical College, Waterford. Once founded, the regional technical college grew very quickly as a result of the obviously strong regional need for tertiary education. In 1997 the college adopted its present name by order of the Minister for Education Niamh Bhreathnach, with Dublin Institute of Technology being the only other institution with the "institute of technology" title at the time in Ireland. Following a change of government and enormous political pressure on behalf of other regional technical colleges, especially Cork Regional Technical College, all other regional technical colleges were renamed similarly by Minister for Education Micheál Martin.

Since 2001 Institute has conferred its own awards at all levels from Higher Certificate to PhD, subject to standards set and monitored by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) which was established by the Government in June 2001, under the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act, 1999. [cite web|url=http://www2.wit.ie/AboutWIT/
] In October 2005 the institute was selected by the The Sunday Times newspaper as the "Institute of Technology of the Year" in Ireland.

The institute now has a student population of approximately 6000 full-time students and 3500 part-time students. The Staff currently consists of approximately 470 Full-time academic, 300 part-time and 300 support staff. [cite web|url=http://www.cpd-construction.com/moodle/file.php/1/Project_Partners.doc
title=Project Partners


The Institute has 4 campuses: Cork Road, College Street, Applied Technology Building and Carriganore.

The main campus is located on the N25 Cork Road. It was established in 1970 and houses the majority of the institutes departments. The Engineering, Science, Business and Health Science Schools are located on this campus. The buildings on this campus are: The original ’69 building, the ’77 extension, WIT library, IT Building, Nursing Building, College Hall, Tourism and Leisure Building, “T-Block”. In late 2005 the Minister for Education and Science Mary Hannafin announced four new buildings (an Engineering & Science Building, an Architecture Building, a Business & Enterprise Building and a Tourism & Leisure Building) as part of a €1.2 billion investment in higher education. It is unsure how many of these will be located on this campus. The Tourism & Leisure Building was located here.

The College Street Campus is the second largest campus currently. The buildings were purchased from the Good Shepherd Order of Nuns. The once convent houses a beautiful Pugin-designed chapel which is used for concerts and ceremonies. The Humanities and Education schools are officially located here, but are in reality spread between this and the main campus.

The Applied Technology Building, which is on lease from IDA Ireland, is located in Waterford’s Industrial Estate. This is just a 2 minute walk from the back of the main campus. While thought by most students to be a “spill-over” of the main campus, due to its close proximity, it is officially a separate campus. It houses engineering workshops and technology based facilities as well as the Careers Centre and the Engineering Research area.

The Carriganore campus, or west campus, is located outside the city near the Waterford Bypass. It is the goal of the Institute that this campus become the colleges main campus in years to come.


The Institute is divided into 6 schools and divided between these schools is 16 departments. A full list of these is below.

Schools and Departments of the institute

*School of Business
** Dept. of Accountancy & Finance
** Dept. of Management & Organisation
** Graduate Business Studies
*School of Education
** Adult and Continuing Education
** Literacy Development Centre
*School of Engineering
** Dept. of Architecture
** Dept. of Construction & Civil Engineering
** Dept. of Engineering Technology
** Dept. of Trade Studies
*School of Health Sciences
** Dept. of Health, Sport & Exercise Studies
** Dept. of Nursing
*School of Humanities
** Dept. of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality
** Dept. of Creative Arts
** Dept. of Applied Arts
*School of Science
** Dept. of Chemical & Life Sciences
** Dept. of Computing, Mathematics & Physics

Research within the institute

The institute is a centre of research within Ireland; amongst the research entities it holds are:
* [http://www2.wit.ie/Research/ResearchGroupsCentres/Groups/AdvancedAutomotiveElectronicsControlGroup/ Advanced Automotive Electronics & Control Group]
* Advanced Manufacturing Technology Research Group
* Art/Design History & Practice Research Centre
* [http://www.wit.ie/automotive Automotive Control Group]
* Centre for Film Studies and Comparative Studies in Literature
* Centre for Health Behaviour Research
* Centre for Management Research in Health Care
* Centre for Newfoundland and Labrador Studies
* Centre for Social and Family Research
* Creative Multimedia Centre
* eLearning Technology Group
* Environmental Sensing Research Group
* Estuarine Research Group
* Flexible Wireless Research Group
* Forestry Vegetation & Alternative Management Systems (FORVAMS) Research Group
* Information Systems, Organisations and Learning Research Group
* Macular Pigment Research Group
* Materials Characterisation and Processing Group
* Metal Complexation Research Group
* Microelectronics and Systems Research Group
* Molecular Ecology Research Group
* Nanotechnology Research Group
* [http://www.wit.ie/org/ Optics Research Group]
* Semiconductor Research Group (SRG) & Solid State Research Laboratories (SSL)
* Separation Science Research Group
* Smart Card Operations Research Enterprise Group
* Surface Science Research Group
* [http://www.tssg.org Telecommunications Software and Systems Group]
* Waterford Crystal Marketing Studies Group

tudent Life

A significant portion of the institute's students live in halls of residence, which adds to the levels of participation in the social and cultural life of the college. These include Riverwalk and Manor Village.

There is an active Students Union in WIT. Every full-time registered student in the college is a member of the Students Union. They are also affiliated to the Union of Students in Ireland. [cite web|url=http://www.witsu.ie/content.asp?section=1&currpage=1
title=Students Union - About the Students Union

Like many other Irish universities and institutes, the institute has an increasingly international student body. The institute has had strong links with many European universities for many years and has more recently grown its links with American and Asian universities.

List of notable former students

*Martin Cullen (TD & Government Minister)
*David T Croke (Professor of Biochemistry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland)
*Setanta Ó hAilpín (GAA & Australian Football League player)
* Robert Finnegan (Managing Director of mobile phone operator 3 Ireland)
*Louise Heraghty (98FM)
*Philip Lynch (businessman, CEO of IAWS Group)
*Tom Mulcahy (Former CEO AIB Group; Former Chairman Aer Lingus)
*John Paul Phelan (Senator and currently the youngest member of the house of the Oireachtas)
* John Ronan (Property developer & joint founder of Treasury Holdings)
*Henry Shefflin (GAA player)

The quest for university status

The institute formally applied in 2006 for university status in accordance with the Universities Act, 1997 [http://www.waterford-today.ie/index.php?id=17596&what=1&issue=291] , and the process of examining the case for redesignation has commenced. In January 2007 Dr Jim Port was engaged by the government to carry out a "preliminary assessment" of the institute's case. [http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=50&si=1731008&issue_id=14935] .

See also

* Education in the Republic of Ireland
* List of Irish third-level educational institutions

External links

* [http://www.wit.ie Official WIT website]
* [http://www.tssg.org Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) website]
* [http://www.wit.ie/AboutWIT/StrategicPlan/ WIT Strategic Plan]


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