Waterford Institute of Technology

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Waterford Institute of Technology
Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Phort Láirge
Waterford Institute of Technology logo.jpg
Former name
Waterford Regional Technical College
MottoFoirfe chun fónaimh
Motto in English
Perfect to Serve
ChairmanRichard Langford[1]
PresidentProf. William Donnelly[2]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Other students

Waterford Institute of Technology (Irish: Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Phort Láirge) (WIT) is a state-funded, freely available higher education institution situated in the city of Waterford, Ireland. The Institute has six Schools and offers programmes in Business, Engineering, Science, Health Sciences, Education & Humanities.

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 Prof. Willie Donnelly.[2]


At the time of the founding of the RTC, there were two other third-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 1,000 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][8]


In 2018, Webometrics placed WIT as the 7th best higher education body in Ireland (out of 32). The Institute is also ranked at 10th place by Unirank, and the leading Irish institute of technology (with the exception of DIT, which is now classified as a Technology University).[9]


The Institute has 5 campuses: Cork Road, College Street, Carriganore, the Applied Technology Building and the Granary.

Cork Road Campus[edit]

The Cork Road Campus (also called 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 which contains the main administration offices along with the Schools of Science & Engineering, the ’77 building housing the Business School, the Luke Wadding library, Walton IT Building, O'Connell Bianconi Nursing Building, Tourism & Leisure Building, the “T-Block" now the FTG rooms which is also where the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning is located. The Dome Bar,College Hall & Fitness Suite are adjacent to the main building and there is also on-site accommodation "College Fields" apartments.

College Street Campus[edit]

The College Street Campus is located 5 minutes from the City Centre. The Humanities and Lifelong Learning & Education schools are officially located here, but are in reality spread between this and the Cork Road Campus. There is also an on-site College Library. The buildings were purchased from the Good Shepherd Order of Nuns. The one time convent houses a Pugin-designed chapel which is used for concerts and ceremonies. WIT Conferring ceremonies take place in the Chapel on this campus every year.

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 Cork Road 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 home to the Macular Pigmnent Research Group) and the WIT Sports Campus. Many of the intervarsity rugby, soccer & GAA matches take place here.

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 Cork Road Campus. While thought by most students to be a “spill-over” of the Cork Road 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 cifty.


The Institute is divided into 6 schools and their various departments.

  • School of Business
    • Department of Accountancy & Economics
    • Department of Management & Organisation
    • Department of Graduate Business Studies
  • School of Lifelong Learning & Education
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Lifelong Learning
  • School of Engineering
    • Department of Architecture
    • Department of the Built Environment
    • Department of Engineering Technology
  • School of Health Sciences
    • Department of Nursing & Health Care
    • Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Science
  • School of Humanities
    • Department of Applied Arts
    • Department of Creative & Performing Arts
    • Department of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality Studies
  • School of Science and Computing
    • Department of Science
    • Department of Computing and Mathematics

Research at WIT[edit]


WIT has secured €200 million in research funding since 2000 and has collaborated with 350 academic and industry partners over that period. It is the only institution to have three Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways[10]. These are TSSG, PMBRC, and SEAM.

Research Centres[edit]

Research Groups[edit]

School of Business
  • Centre for Enterprise Development & Regional Economy
  • Centre for Management Research in Healthcare & Healthcare Economics
  • Centre for Newfoundland and Labrador Studies
  • AIB Centre for Finance and Business Research
  • Research in Innovation, Knowledge Transfer and Organisational Networks
  • Waterford Crystal Centre for Marketing Studies

School of Engineering

  • Advanced Automotive Electronic Control Group
  • Advanced Manufacturing Technology Research Group
  • Construction Industry Research & Knowledge Centre
  • Materials Characterisation and Processing Group
  • Microelectronics and Systems Research Group
  • Nanotechnology Research Group
  • Wireless Communications & Large Scale Simulation Group
  • Convergent Technologies Research Group
  • Building Information Modelling Research Group
  • iBerg

School of Health Sciences

  • Health Informatics Research Group
  • Centre for Health Behaviour Research

School of Humanities

  • Centre For Research, Creativity & Innovation in Tourism
  • Centre for Social and Family Research
  • Content & Language Integrated Learning Research Group
  • Creativity & Culture Research Group

School of Science

  • Automotive Control Group
  • Centre for INformation SYstems and Techno-culture
  • Game Based Learning
  • Health Informatics Research Group
  • Optics Research Group

Student life[edit]

The Institute has over 30 sports clubs and upwards of 25 societies registered each year. The WIT GAA Club is the best known and most successful with its hurlers having won the Fitzgibbon Cup on nine occasions and the Camogie team Ashbourne Cup winners eight times. Lots of other sports such as basketball, rugby, soccer, kayaking and horse riding are supported at the institute also.

A significant portion of the institute's students live in WIT Campus Accommodation i.e. Manor Village, College Fields and Roncalli house, which adds to the levels of participation in the social and cultural life of the college.

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. There is a large Brazilian contingent of students each year also.

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.[11]


The institute has been planning a joint application with IT Carlow for the formation of a technological university for the south east region since the mid-2010's.[12][13] A vision document, "Technological University for the South East" (TUSE) was published in 2015, and a memorandum of understanding was signed in 2017.[14] At the launch of TU Dublin in July 2018, the Taoiseach expressed regret that this TUSE bid had not progressed sufficiently following the "Technological Universities Act 2018".[15][16]

Notable Alumni[edit]





See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ WIT Governing Body
  2. ^ a b "Office of the President". Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  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. ^ "Project Partners".
  7. ^ Institute a step nearer to university status Irish Independent
  8. ^ "Waterford Scholarship 2017". Afterschool.
  9. ^ "Ireland:Ranking". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways". Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Students Union - About the Students' Union". Archived from the original on 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  12. ^ "Technological University for the South East". Waterford IT. 31 May 2013. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  13. ^ "South East Technological University moves Closer to Becoming a Reality". Waterford IT. 3 October 2013. Archived from the original on 17 December 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Timeline". Technological University for the South East. 2018. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Announcement by An Taoiseach". Dublin Institute of Technology. 17 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018 – via facebook.com.
  16. ^ "Technological Universities Act 2018". Office of the Attorney General. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  17. ^ Niamh Briggs, rbs6nations.com, accessed 23 March 2013