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WIT economist says benefits of Technological University status are unclear

A WIT economist says it's not certain what, if any, benefit that Technological University designation would bring to the South East.

Waterford and Carlow IT's have committed to merging in a bid to secure TU status, however it's believed there are still hurdles to clear before a formal application can be made.

Bodies including the IDA have said that the upgrading of the Institute is hugely important for the development of the region.

Dr. Ray Griffin is an lecturer in economics at the WIT.

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He says that an upgrade is necessary, but he's not sure if Tech Uni status is enough.

"We have to explore the Technological University to see what it means," he says. "Will it bring those thirteen-and-a-half thousand people back into the region?"

He says that the WIT was in a similar position before in the 1990's when it was the former WRTC.

"It took us four years to realise that that (re-designation) was nothing," he says adding that any changes have to be centred around drastically increasing the Institute's capacity.

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