Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is a university-level institution in the South-East of Ireland with over 10,000 students and 1,000 staff.
WIT offers tuition and research programmes in various areas from Higher Certificate to Degree to PhD.
WIT is the major provider of higher education in the South East region of Ireland and one of the largest IOT's in Ireland. The Institute's range and scope reflect the changing needs of the southeast as well as the country as a whole.
The range of academic programmes is exceptionally extensive, ranging from Higher Certificate right through to post-doctoral research and covering the Humanities, Health and Nursing, Science and Informatics, Engineering and Architecture, Business and Education.
WIT has been a leader in the Irish higher education sector with regard to the provision of lifelong learning opportunities and access for disadvantaged groups. Many of WIT's successful initiatives in this area have been copied by other colleges. Because of the needs of non-standard groups, WIT has responded by developing expertise in the areas of flexible accreditation, outreach and flexible delivery modes.
Providing a caring and supportive learning environment for its students is central to WIT's ethos. The range and quality of student support services is excellent. Examples include the Student Life and Learning Centre and the Medical Centre which provide care, counselling, guidance and support for any student encountering personal, social or health difficulties. Good housing for students is also one of WIT's priorities and the Institute currently owns and/or manages sufficient very high quality students apartments to meet the demand.
Over the past 10 years, the Institute has successfully attracted over €139m in research funding from various sources. Researchers at WIT have obtained funding from the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) cycles 3, 4 and 5; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Frontiers Programme and the Principal Investigator Programme, and various European funding programmes including eTEN and InterReg. In addition, there are three Enterprise Ireland (EI) funded Technology Gateway Centres in the areas of applied materials research, telecommunications research, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology research. WIT has has an established track record of success in the various European Framework Programmes (FP), having obtained funding in FP4, FP5, FP6, FP7 and most recently Horizon 2020 (H2020). The Institute entered the final year of H2020 as the leading Irish Institute of Technology with respect to funding secured under this programme.
WIT has formal academic exchange and research partnerships with over 40 universities worldwide. These range from the old established Universities such as Oxford, Trinity College Dublin and University College London to newer technological universities such as Budapest University of Technology and Nanjing University of Science and Technology. In addition WIT has very close relationships with industry & commerce, the professions and the public service for research, consultancy, student and graduate placements etc. A culture of entrepreneurship and innovation is fostered at all levels in the organisation. This can be illustrated by one year enterprise platform programme offered to graduates by the School of Business. Through its School of Humanities it plays a very significant role in the Social and cultural life of its region.
Waterford Institute of Technology is one of the largest institutes of technology in Ireland. It was established as a Regional Technical College in 1970, and was the first to be awarded Institute of Technology status in 1998. Over the period of this process, and as a result of an international quality review, the Institute was granted delegated authority by the National Council for Educational Awards to confer its own Certificates and Diplomas.
The Institute now confers 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. The quality and standard of Irish educational awards is fully recognised globally. All Irish awards are included in the national framework of qualifications maintained by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland, http://www.nqai.ie.
Waterford Institute of Technology has the highest number of students within the Institute of Technology sector, outside of Dublin, participating at ordinary degree level and above. The Institute also offers unique post doctoral programmes in a number of specialist areas.
Being the major provider of higher education in the South East region of Ireland, the Institute’s current full-time equivalent student cohort is in excess of 7,500 while part-time student enrolments exceed 2,500. The range of academic programmes is exceptionally extensive covering the Humanities, Health and Nursing, Science and Informatics, Engineering and Architecture, Business and Education.
The Institute's management and governance structures include the Governing Body, consisting of regional and institutional stakeholders, the Academic Council, responsible for the academic quality of the Institute, and statutory roles for key individual staff such as the President. The senior management team - Executive Board - comprises the President (Chairman), Registrar, Secretary / Financial Controller and all Heads of academic schools.