Waterford Institute of Technology

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Waterford Institute of Technology
Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Phort Láirge
Waterford Institute of Technology logo.jpg
Established 1970
Type Public
Chairman Donal Ormonde[citation needed]
President Dr. Ruaidhri Neavyn[1]
Director Dr. Ruaidhri Neavyn[citation needed]
Students 10,000+[2]
Location Waterford, Ireland
Nickname WIT
Website www.wit.ie

Waterford Institute of Technology (Irish: Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Phort Láirge) (WIT) is a state funded third-level educational freely available large scale 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 7, 1997.[3] The institute is currently headed by President Dr. Ruaidhri Neavyn.[1]


At the time of the founding of the RTC, there were two other third-level level institutions in the city, St John’s Seminary[4] 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 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[citation needed] (he married a niece of Napoleon I of France), being a Catholic and leaning towards an independent Ireland.[citation needed] 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.[5] In October 2005 the institute was selected by 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.[6]

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.[7]


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

Main Campus[edit]

The main campus is located on the R680 (the old 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[edit]

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, and the College Street Library.

Carriganore Campus[edit]

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 Building, the ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre (also containing TSSG staff), the National Biodiversity Centre, Carriganore House (an old mansion now providing office and meeting space) and the WIT Sports Campus.

Applied Technology Building[edit]

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 Granary[edit]

The Department of Architecture and Architecture Technology is located in the old Waterford Museum of Treasures. This building is on the Merchant's Quay, very close to the city centre and the historical heart of the city.


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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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)
    • 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[edit]

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.[8]

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[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Waterford Institute of Technology’s Governing Body ratifies new President". Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  2. ^ ABOUT WIT
  3. ^ Regional Technical Colleges Act, 1992 (Amendment) (No. 2) Order, 1997
  4. ^ On the market: St. John’s College sale to fund new pastoral centre Waterford News & Star
  5. ^ "AboutWIT". Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  6. ^ 1/Project_Partners.doc "Project Partners". 
  7. ^ Institute a step nearer to university status Irish Independent
  8. ^ "Students Union - About the Students Union". Archived from the original on 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  9. ^ Niamh Briggs, rbs6nations.com, accessed 23 March 2013