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South East Technological University (SETU) has today launched its first strategic plan, setting out the university’s five-year aim to become a leading global technological university driving the south east as a learning and innovation region.

The plan, titled “Connecting for Impact”, which sets out SETU’s ambitions over the coming years to establish itself as the anchor institution for the ongoing development of the south east, was launched at three events today at the Wexford Arts Centre, Unum Ltd in Carlow and at Tirlán in Kilkenn. SunLife Financial will host the Waterford launch on Tuesday, 23 May. 

SETU aims to have long-term transformative impact on the south east region. This will be achieved by creating new educational opportunities for people in the region, contributing to developing the skills and capacity of the regional labour force, and driving regional innovation, which in turn will create high quality jobs and will help improve the quality of life for everyone.   

The university’s priorities include access to higher education, supporting the student experience, developing a range of new courses, and significantly increasing the volume and impact of the university’s research. Expanding and improving physical and digital infrastructure across the university’s campuses are also key priorities. This includes, amongst other investments, the development of a new campus in Wexford, a University-Enterprise Quarter at the former Waterford Crystal Site on the Cork Road in Waterford and new buildings for the Carlow campus. 

SETU President, Professor Veronica Campbell, said: “We’re delighted to launch this strategic plan, the first plan for our new university. People who read it will have no doubt about our ambitions for the university and the south east region. We see ourselves as an anchor institution, an important change agent that will be central to addressing regional challenges – especially those relating to the green and digital transitions. The full implementation of this plan will see us expand our campuses and facilities, develop new courses in areas of regional needs, deepen our international partnerships and greatly enhance what we are doing in research and innovation – all in support of the development of the south east.”  

Chair of the Governing Body and Chancellor of SETU, Professor Patrick Prendergast, expressed his thanks to Prof. Campbell and her team for delivering an ambitious plan. He added: “The Governing Body of the university wholeheartedly endorses this strategy as the best way to achieve the ambitions of SETU and deliver on what are rightly the high expectations of the region. These are exciting times for the south east region and SETU’s Governing Body looks forward to supporting and overseeing the implementation of the plan in the coming years.”  

Dr Richard Hayes, Vice President for Strategy at SETU, also thanked those who contributed to the development of the plan. He said, “This plan is the culmination of six months of consultation and discussion both within the university, and between the university and external partners, including the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS), the IDA, IBEC, the Southern Regional Assembly, regional local authorities, and many others. We thank our staff, our students, and all our stakeholders for joining in the collective effort to produce this ambitious plan. We look forward now to moving to implementation with the goal of transforming our university and our region in the time ahead.”