Clonmel and Thurles could be university towns by the end of this year, according to the Higher Education Minister.
Simon Harris delivered an optimistic update to Tipperary TD Michael Lowry in the Dáil on the application by Limerick IT and Athlone IT seeking Technological University status.
An International Panel is currently examining the application before submitting a report to the Higher Education Authority with its findings.
Echoing the views of deputy Lowry, Minister Harris said he thinks this could be transformational for Tipperary in general.
“What you’re going to see is Thurles and Clonmel become university towns. You’re going to have young people – and not so young people – in Tipperary able to access university education in their county. No more having to pack the bags to some other county or city.”
“So I think its transformational for education but I thinks its transformational in so many other ways. We know that the longer somebody stays in their county the more likely they are to put down roots there, to raise their own family there, to get a job there.”