Clonmel and Thurles are now officially University towns

Photo courtesy of Technological University of the Shannon - Midlands Midwest

The new Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest is expected to generate €420 million every year for the local economy.

Speaking at the launch, TUS President, Professor Vincent Cunnane said that this status will mean a lot for the students and wider communities.

“It’s clear that there are huge benefits to becoming a Technological University – we’re going to be able to broaden and deepen everything that we do.

“We’re going to create new areas of study, new degree areas, we’re going to be able to bring a deepening critical mass to a number of our key research areas.

“Our ability to interact with industry and business and the social and cultural communities will be enhanced and we’ll be learning from them, as we move along as well, so it’s a very significant change.”

TUS Campus - Clonmel Photo © Tipp FM
TUS Campus – Clonmel Photo © Tipp FM

Kyra Kehoe is studying Digital Animation Production at the Clonmel campus.

She says the move to university status will mean a lot for both students and the area alike.

“Essentially, what it is, is that the new name will bring in people who have more expertise in their field, it draws in more job opportunities and then in turn, it produces better graduates, which in turn then, basically brings forth more developmental opportunities for the colleges, for the college towns essentially, they become University towns.

“Due to that then, basically what happens is that more jobs are generated.”

The LIT Thurles campus. Photo: Tipp FM.
The LIT Thurles campus. Photo: Tipp FM.

Seamus Hoyne is Dean of Flexible and Work Place Learning at T-U-S.

Speaking on Tipp Today earlier he said the move effectively opens up the world to students.

“The students that come through the door today are university students so their parchments when they graduate will state that they came from a technological university.

“Particularly in this world where many people move and have much more mobility to work – not just across Europe but across the world – having that technological university brand on your parchment and on your CV will be really important so career opportunities will be opened up for people also.”

The growth of the Clonmel campus over the last 22 years has seen it expand from 25 students in its first year to 200 this year including 75 new entrants just this week.

There are plans for the campus to move to part of the Kickham Barracks site in the heart of the town.

However Head of the Department of Digital Arts & Media James Greenslade says they need room for growth into the future.

“Whether its in the Kickham Barracks site or on the current campus here we will certainly need room for growth. I’d love to see there being on-campus student accommodation.

“Up until today we were an IoT – we didn’t have an opportunity to borrow to invest in that. And we still don’t as part of a technological university but I believe the political powers are working on allowing technological universities to actually invest on-site in accommodation so its growth is what its about for us.”