Waterford Institute of Technology

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is a state funded third-level
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 educational institution situated in the city of Waterford
Waterford is a city in the South-East Region of Ireland. It is the oldest city in the country and fifth largest by population. Waterford City Council is the local government authority for the city and its immediate hinterland...

, Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

. 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 7, 1997. The institute is currently headed by acting President Tony McFeely.


At the time of the founding of the RTC, there were two other third-level level institutions in the city, St John’s Seminary Waterford News and Star which notes the closing of the St John's Seminary in 1999 and De La Salle Brothers 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
Queen's University of Ireland
The Queen's University of Ireland was established formally by Royal Charter on 3 September 1850, as the degree-awarding university of the Queen's Colleges of Belfast, Cork, and Galway that were established in 1845 "to afford a university education to members of all religious denominations" in...

 in the 1840s. The cause was led by Thomas Wyse
Thomas Wyse
Sir Thomas Wyse KCB , an Irish politician and diplomat, belonged to a family claiming descent from a Devon man, Andrew Wyse, who is said to have crossed over to Ireland during the reign of Henry II and obtained lands near Waterford, of which city thirty-three members of the family are said to have...

, Waterford’s then Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

, who was perhaps chosen unwisely as he was not influential in Parliament, having strong Napoleonic links (he married a niece of Napoleon I
Napoleon I
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 of France), being a Catholic and leaning towards an independent Ireland. Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

, 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
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

. 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
Niamh Bhreathnach
Niamh Bhreathnach is an Irish Labour Party politician. She was a Teachta Dála for Dún Laoghaire from 1992 until 1997, and served as Minister for Education from 1993 until 1997...

, with Dublin Institute of Technology
Dublin Institute of Technology
Dublin Institute of Technology was established officially in 1992 under the but had been previously set up in 1978 on an ad-hoc basis. The institution can trace its origins back to 1887 with the establishment of various technical institutions in Dublin, Ireland...

 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
Micheál Martin
Micheál Martin is an Irish politician who has been leader of Fianna Fáil since January 2011. He is a Teachta Dála for the Cork South Central constituency...


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.
In October 2005 the institute was selected by The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times (UK)
The Sunday Times is a Sunday broadsheet newspaper, distributed in the United Kingdom. The Sunday Times is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News International, which is in turn owned by News Corporation. Times Newspapers also owns The Times, but the two papers were founded...

 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.

The institute formally applied in 2006 for university status in accordance with the Universities Act, 1997, 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. Waterford is Ireland's largest population centre (and only city) without a university.


The Institute has 4 campuses: Cork Road, College Street, West Campus (Carriganore) and the Applied Technology Building.

Main Campus

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, Luke Wadding 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.

College Street Campus

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
Pugin most commonly refers to Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin , English architect and designer.Other members of his family include:...

-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, and the College Street Library.

Carriganore Campus

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 college's main campus in years to come. So far it has the TSSG
TSSG, Waterford Institute of TechnologyThe Telecommunications Software & Systems Group is a large Irish Information & Communications Technologies research institute in Waterford Institute of Technology...

 Building, the ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre (also containing TSSG
TSSG, Waterford Institute of TechnologyThe Telecommunications Software & Systems Group is a large Irish Information & Communications Technologies research institute in Waterford Institute of Technology...

 staff), the National Biodiversity Centre, Carriganore House (an old mansion now providing office and meeting space) and the WIT Sports Campus.

Applied Technology Building

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 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
    • Department of Accountancy & Economics
    • Department of Management & Organisation
    • Department of Graduate Business Studies

  • School of Education
    • Adult & Continuing Education
    • Literacy Development Centre

  • School of Engineering
    • Department of Architecture
    • Department of Construction & Civil Engineering
    • Department of Engineering Technology
    • Department of Trade Studies

  • School of Health Sciences
    • Department of Nursing
    • Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Studies

  • School of Humanities
    • Department of Applied Arts
    • Department of Creative & Performing Arts
    • Department of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality

  • School of Science
    • Department of Chemical & Life Sciences
    • Department of Computing, Maths & Physics

Research within the institute

The institute is a centre of research within Ireland; amongst the research entities it holds are:
(For more information on each of the Research Groups within WIT, please see the External Links section below)
  • School of Science
    • Automotive Control Group
    • Biomedical Research Cluster
    • Converged IP Communications Services
    • Centre for INformation SYstems and TEchno-culture
    • Centre for Scientific Computing
    • Eco-Innovation Research Centre
    • Health Informatics Research Group
    • Macular Pigment Research Group
    • Optics Research Group
    • Pharmaceutical & Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre
    • Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG
      TSSG, Waterford Institute of TechnologyThe Telecommunications Software & Systems Group is a large Irish Information & Communications Technologies research institute in Waterford Institute of Technology...

    • WeLearnT eLearning Technologies Research Group

  • School of Engineering
    • Advanced Automotive Electronic Control Group
    • Advanced Manufacturing Technology Research Group
    • Construction Industry Research & Knowledge Group
    • Materials Characterisation & Processing Group
    • Microelectronics and Systems Research Group
    • Nanotechnology Research Group
    • South Eastern Applied Materials Research Centre
    • Wireless Communications & Large Scale Simulation Group

  • School of Business
    • Business Education & Teaching Research Group
    • Centre for Enterprise Development & Regional Economy
    • Centre for Management Research in Healthcare & Healthcare Economics
    • Finance Research Group
    • Research in: Innovation Knowledge & Organisational Networks
    • Waterford Crystal Centre for Marketing Studies

  • School of Humanities
    • Centre for Newfoundland and Labrador Studies
    • Centre for Research, Creativity & Innovation in Tourism
    • Centre for Social and Family Research
    • Content & Language Integrated Learning Research Group
    • Creativity & Culture Research Group
    • Music Composition/Contemporary Music History & Analysis
    • Research in Art Design Theory & Practice
    • The Poets' House Centre for Creative Writing and Research

  • School of Health Science
    • Centre for Health Behaviour Research
    • Centre for Sport and Exercise Psychology

  • School of Education
    • Literacy Development Centre

Student 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.

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
    Martin Cullen
    Martin Cullen is a former Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He was a Teachta Dála for the Waterford constituency. Cullen was a member of Seanad Éireann and served as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government , Minister for Transport and Minister for Social and Family Affairs and...

     (TD & Government Minister)
  • David T Croke (Professor of Biochemistry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
    Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
    The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland , is a Dublin-based medical institution, situated on St. Stephen's Green. The college is one of the five Recognised Colleges of the National University of Ireland...

  • Setanta Ó hAilpín
    Setanta Ó hAilpín
    Setanta "Carlos" Ó hAilpín is an Australian-Irish sportsman. He was a hurler with the Cork senior team before becoming a professional Australian Rules footballer. He is of mixed Irish and Rotuman background...

     (GAA & Australian Football League player)
  • Robert Finnegan (Managing Director of mobile phone operator 3 Ireland)
  • Louise Heraghty (98FM
    98FM may refer to these radio stations using 98MHz:* 98FM * WKCQ* WDZH, also known as "98-7 Amp Radio"....

  • Philip Lynch
    Philip Lynch
    Philip Lynch is a prominent Irish businessman who has held the position of chief executive at two Irish public limited companies and multiple senior directorships including chairman of the board of An Post...

     (businessman, CEO of IAWS Group
    IAWS Group
    IAWS Group plc was an international food and agribusiness group. The Group had lifestyle food operations in Ireland, the UK, France, the USA, and Canada serving over 50,000 customers...

  • Geordan Murphy
    Geordan Murphy
    Geordan Edward Andrew Murphy is an Irish rugby union rugby player and plays fullback or wing for the English club Leicester Tigers and Ireland....

     (Irish Rugby Player)
  • Tom Mulcahy (Former CEO AIB Group; Former Chairman Aer Lingus
    Aer Lingus
    Aer Lingus Group Plc is the flag carrier of Ireland. It operates a fleet of Airbus aircraft serving Europe and North America. It is Ireland's oldest extant airline, and its second largest after low-cost rival Ryanair...

  • John Paul Phelan
    John Paul Phelan
    John Paul Phelan is an Irish Fine Gael politician. He was elected as a Teachta Dála for the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency at the 2011 general election. He was elected in 2002 to Seanad Éireann by the Agricultural Panel, and was re-elected in 2007...

     (Senator and currently the youngest member of the house of the Oireachtas)
  • John Ronan (Property developer & joint founder of Treasury Holdings)
  • Henry Shefflin
    Henry Shefflin
    Henry Shefflin is an Irish sportsperson. He plays hurling with his local club Ballyhale Shamrocks and has been a member of the Kilkenny senior inter-county team since 1999...

     (GAA player)
  • Billy Newport
    Billy Newport
    William "Billy" Newport is an Irish software engineer working for IBM since 2001. Newport holds the title of IBM Distinguished Engineer. He is one of the main engineers of IBM WebSphere Software. Newport currently leads the design of the IBM WebSphere eXtreme Scale product as well as various...

     (IBM Distinguished Engineer)

See also

  • Education in the Republic of Ireland
    Education in the Republic of Ireland
    The levels of education in Ireland are primary, secondary and higher education. In recent years further education has grown immensely. Growth in the economy since the 1960s has driven much of the change in the education system. Education in Ireland is free at all levels, including college , but...

  • List of Irish third-level educational institutions

External links

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