Waterford News

WIT graduates 2019Recently released data on secondary ‘feeder’ schools to universities, institutes of technology, and colleges shows Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) continuing to feature as the leading provider of higher education across the counties of the south east.

WIT ranks number 1 in attracting students through the CAO from across the five counties in the south east of Ireland – Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary (South Riding), and Carlow.

Over 1,600 of the 5,000 plus new higher education-going students in the region in 2019, or almost 1 in 3 (30%) chose WIT.

When it comes to individual counties, well over 50% of higher education-going students from Waterford choose WIT.

The data shows something similar in Wexford where 30% of higher education going students go to WIT.

In Kilkenny and South Tipperary, 1 in 4 students go to WIT.

Dr Derek O’Byrne, Registrar and Vice President for Academic Affairs said the statistics are reflective of the emphasis WIT puts on assisting students in the CAO decision-making process.

“In line with our 'right student, right programme’ ethos we have invested in helping students make the right choices for them. This includes a suite of common entry courses to help students decide on what areas they want to specialise in during their first year in college."

In November this year more than 5,000 people attended two open days at the WIT Arena. Two booklets for parents of applicants and for students on how to do thorough research into courses and colleges are also popular resources. By the end of the next academic year about 1,000 secondary school students will have had a chance to attend a ‘Try WIT’ event.

“This year WIT has expanded the number of discipline-specific ‘Try’ events where second level students will have the opportunity to try out areas they interested in studying at third level. So far we have scheduled Try Music, Try Computers, Try Nursing, Try Architecture, Leaving Cert Music Day, Try Law, Try Business, Try Engineering Technology, Try Sport, Try Art, Try Social Sciences, Try Hotel, Try Languages, Try Theatre Studies, Try Science, and Try Gaeilge for the 2019/2020 period,” added Dr O’Byrne.

WIT’s strategic plan has a strong focus on developing the institute’s leadership role in the south east region. “The feeder schools report show very clearly the regional impact of WIT on the south east,” said Dr Richard Hayes, WIT Vice President for Strategy. “The report also clearly shows that WIT is operating in the university ‘space’ and is filling the deficiency left by the lack of a university in the South East. We are focused on delivering a university for the region that will further enhance our position and create additional opportunities for students in the region.”

Notwithstanding the strong performance of WIT, 60% of the region’s students are leaving the region to study, typically in universities. The long-awaited Technological University of the South East, it is proposed, will go some way to addressing this ‘brain drain’.

“While these figures are very encouraging they also highlight the ongoing need for enhanced higher education provision in the South East,” said Dr Hayes. “This will come in the shape of the Technological University. Concentrated and strategic investment in improving and developing higher education here will open up greater choice for students and their families.”

Hellin Conference Meg BenkeLifelong Learning: Preparing for our Future World is the title conference taking place on Wednesday, 11 December at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).

Governments across the globe are striving to help their societies deal with the profound changes that are being wrought through rapid advances in technology; in modes of social and political participation; and in the environment. Considerable energy and investment is being devoted to programmes of ‘lifelong learning’ to help meet these challenges. The EU target for participation in lifelong learning is 15% by 2020, while in Ireland the National Skills Strategy aims to increase to 10% the share of persons aged 25-64 engaged in lifelong learning by 2020 and to 15% by 2025.

This conference is organised by the Higher Education Lifelong Learning in Ireland Network (HELLIN) and will explore policy, practice and innovation in lifelong learning. The 2019 conference is co-ordinated by the WIT School of Education and Lifelong Learning under Dr Helen Murphy the current HELLIN Chair. The conference is aimed at lifelong learning researchers, academics, practitioners and students, registration is still open at www.hellin.ie.

The HELLIN network informs policy relating to all aspects of adult education and lifelong learning whether these be Workplace or Work-based Learning, Continuing Professional Development, Recognition of Prior Learning, Adult and Community Education and older learners.

Dr Murphy says that this year the conference will focus on how lifelong learning can help prepare us for our future world. “The conference aims to explore how lifelong learning is responding to a changing external environment and how shifts in policy, practice and innovations are helping shape our future. The HELLIN conference is an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, learners and policy makers to discuss these shifts, share practice and research and debate the issues facing all those involved in Lifelong Learning.”

Dr Meg Benke will travel from New York to give the keynote address on the topic of Lifelong Learning: Personalized and Connected Learning. Dr Benke is Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Empire State College, State University of New York.

“Guided by the three themes of Policy, Practice and Innovation for the Future World, we will examine the future of personalized and connected learning,” she says. “How do we as lifelong learning educators best prepare for ourselves and our learners?  What are new ways to engage with technology and online networks?  How do we re-balance for New Life and Work Trajectories?  What are Emergent models for the Recognition of Prior Learning and greater collaborations between industry and education? And how do we better use data to understand learner success?”

A panel discussion will address topics such as how, in an almost full employment market, can we encourage learners to return to engage with education; what are the gaps that we need to fulfil to encourage and support Lifelong Learning as well as international trends and improving inclusivity and access to lifelong learning.

The panel will feature a diverse range of national and international speakers including:

Dr Meg Benke: Executive Vice-President Academic Affairs, Empire State College 

Rev. Trevor Sargent: CoI Curate Tramore, GIY advocate and former Leader of the Green Party in Ireland 

Edmond Connolly: Manager South East Regional Skills Forum and former CEO of Macra na Feirme 

Mary Lyons: Director National Innovation, SOLAS 

Donna Tilson: Director Data Insights at Sun Life Financial and founding member Crystal Valley Tech

Themes covered include:

Policy: The Future for Lifelong Learning, New Life and Work Trajectories; Re-balancing social and human capital in Lifelong Learning, International policy developments to support Lifelong Learning.

Practice: The Changing Role of the Lifelong Learning Practitioner, How the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can facilitate access for Lifelong Learners, Emerging practice, methodologies and pedagogies in Lifelong Learning.

Innovation: Partnership and collaboration for Lifelong Learning, How can technology support Lifelong Learning?

The conference is supported by the HELLIN network of higher education institutions engaged with Lifelong Learning and the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.

Register at www.hellin.ie.

Friday Free From FiveWaterford City and County Council and The Port of Waterford launched the FRIDAY FREE from FIVEpromotion, for the 2019 Festive period two weeks ago. This initiative is supported by Waterford Business Group, Waterford Chamber, Winterval and the Tidy Towns Bid team and is aimed at promoting and supporting City Centre businesses this festive season.

Waterford Council’s core City Centre car parks and The Port of Waterford car parks, on The Quay, will now provide ‘FREE from FIVE’ parking, on Friday 29th November, Friday 6th, Friday 13th and the additional day of Friday 20th December.

Extending the offering to include the traditionally very busy Friday 20th December, the very last Friday before Santa arrives, was a very easy decision according to Michael Garland, Chair of Tidy Towns.

“The feedback from our initial offering was so positive, that the Council and the Port of Waterford indicated they’d both like to extend the offering to include Friday 20th December. We now have an offering that will support our City Centre businesses and allow shoppers and families, to enjoy #Winteval in the knowledge that they do not have to worry about car parking.

The ‘Last Friday’ before Christmas day is always a very busy shopping day and probably one of the busiest days of the year, for our City Centre. It is vital that we support our local businesses as they are the beating heart of the City. We’d ask that people use the offering to come into the City Centre and enjoy the festive atmosphere. This is a collaborative offering and who knows, might well be replicated in 2020, if we can see enough people availing of the FRIDAY FREE from FIVE offer.”

Michael Garland continued, “We’d still like businesses to do their #BITT (Businesses Invested in Tidy Towns) and dress their windows, for Christmas, to be in with a chance to win a €500 shopping voucher. Businesses must be signed up to the Tidy Towns Charter to enter, where they will receive a Christmas gift tag to display in the window, during the festive period. Further details are directly available from Waterford Chamber, in George’s Street and also see the latest edition ‘Network’, the Chamber’s magazine.”

Remember, ALL Waterford Council owned and managed car parking spaces are FREE of charge on Sundays also, so there are plenty opportunities for people to make their way to the City Centre throughout Christmas, to enjoy the festive atmosphere, take in some retail therapy and experience Winterval.

Christmas Memorial tree launch 2019Last Wednesday, November 27th, the Rotary Club of Waterford launched its 22nd annual Memorial Christmas Tree with His Worship the Mayor Cllr. John Pratt and Waterford hurling legend Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh at John Robert’s Square in Waterford City.

Christmas is such an important time for family, but it’s also a time when we most miss those loved ones who are lost to us. The Rotary Memorial Tree has become an important and cherished way for all of us to remember our friends and family. This is why the Rotary club’s partnership with Hospice at this time of year is so vital and appropriate.

The Memorial Tree Appeal, officially launched by Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John Pratt will, as always, be a central feature in Waterford City’s Winterval Festival.

As in recent years the Waterford public will have two ways to remember their loved ones. They can of course call to the Memorial Tree in John Roberts Square or one of its satellite venues across the City or post their memory on-line via the Waterford hospice and Rotary Club websites.

Mayor, Cllr. John Pratt, said: "I'm delighted to launch this 22nd annual Waterford Rotary Club Memorial Tree which has done so much to help Waterford Hospice over the years and has become a Christmas tradition for the people of Waterford."

Carol Normoyle, President of the Rotary Club of Waterford said, “For so many years the Rotary Club of Waterford Memorial Christmas Tree has been at the heart of Christmas in Waterford and of course everyone knows the wonderful work Waterford Hospice does in our community.

From now until Christmas the Waterford public can purchase ribbons in John Roberts Square, or purchase a light and record a memory by logging on to www.waterfordhospice.ie/memorialtree.

Weather permitting, the Memorial Tree will be open from 12 noon every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and daily from December 13th until the ecumenical carol service with the Waterford Male Voice Choir which takes place at the tree on Christmas Eve starting at 2:30.

This year for the first time, UPMC Whitfield is hosting a Rotary Club Memorial Tree in the hospital foyer.  Other satellite collection points for this worthy cause are in Supervalu Hypercentre (Dec 13th & 14th), Waterford Shopping Centre Lisduggan (Dec 20th & 21st), Quish's Supervalu Tramore (Dec 13th) and Ardkeen Quality Food Store (Dec 14th).

For updates, check out https://www.facebook.com/waterfordrotaryclub/

Tinteán Housing Association works with people who are homeless across Waterford City and county. Here in Tinteán we offer individuals and families housing and support to help people to have and keep a home. Tintean is supported by the HSE and Waterford City and County Council, and is a registered charity with both Revenue and the Charities Regulator.

The Board is responsible for planning for succession at director level and we are now seeking expressions of interest in being a director of the Company.

Directors will be selected so as to create a diverse Board membership that includes men and women of independent mind, that meet the criteria set out in the Board’s Schedule of Matters, which is attached.

The roles are unpaid voluntary positions.

THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS:

A confidential two-stage process will be followed

  1. Expressions of interests which are now being sought will be treated in strictest confidence and each one will be responded to.
  2. The Board will review expressions of interest that are received and on the basis of that review will invite a number of people to discuss their interest in becoming a director.

If you wish to express an interest in becoming a Board member, please download, complete and return an expression of interest form.

Return your completed form by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post to: Manager, 25 Virginia Crescent, Hennessy’s Rd, Waterford City

Tramore Christmas Festival 2019

Let's gather at the Fairy Snow Queen's House outside Apache Pizza on Thursday, 5th December and follow her and her special friends down Main Street at 5pm in search of Santa, because we really need him to turn on the Christmas lights! There will be musical performances and a fabulous Christmas market on Queen Street, plus more.

Santa will be too busy to join us on 13th and 20th December but don't worry, the Fairy Snow Queen and her friends will still be there to lead us in song down Main Street and don't forget to look out for the fairies in the windows on your way!

This event is being run by Waterford Chamber, in association with Waterford City & County Council and is free for all to attend. 

 

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