Patrick Prendergast named chair of South East Technological University (SETU)

College’s former Provost will chair the newest technological university set to open on May 1

Today, Patrick Prendergast was named chair of South East Technological University (SETU). College’s former Provost will chair the newest technological university set to open on May 1.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, who formally granted the TU designation status today.

Prendergast completed his tenure as College’s Provost last August after ten years in the role . The former Provost will be joined on the board by Jim Bergin, CEO of Glanbia and Ruth Beadle, Site Head at Sanofi.

Speaking in a press release today, Minister Harris said: “I want to wish Dr Prendergast, Mr Bergin and Ms Beadle the very best in their roles.” 

“Having an inaugural governing board with such vast and invaluable experience will be of huge benefit to the technological university as it embarks on this new journey”: he continued.

Institute of Technology Carlow (Carlow IT) and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) will merge to form the new university. SETU will be multi-regional with campuses in Carlow, Waterford, Wexford, and Wicklow and will be the fifth of its kind in the country.  

Tanàiste Leo Varadkar commented: “This is a red letter day for the South East. This new university will help us to secure more economic investment for the region.”

 “[SETU] will also lead to more indigenous businesses being founded in the region  fostering more job creation.”

“Making higher education accessible to all is the best way to make Ireland a country of equal opportunities”: he added.

The Minister of State for Further Education and Skills, Niall Collins said: “Today’s announcement marks the forging of a network of TUs across the country from the North West to the South East, across the Midlands and Midwest, down to the South West, and serving Dublin and its hinterland.”

Students from both IT’s graduating this year will leave with university qualifications. 

Technological University (TU) Dublin was the first TU in the country to be established. Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and the Institutes of Technology in Blanchardstown and Tallaght merged together to form the TU on January 1, 2019.

Last year, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and Institute of Technology Tralee (IT Tralee) merged to form the Munster Technological University (MTU) on 1 January 2021. And in October, Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) dissolved to form the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS).

The Atlantic Technological University  (ATU) is set to open April 1, comprising Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), the Institute of Technology Sligo (Sligo IT), and Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LKIT).