Top honours for students
CHIEF Whip and Minister of State Paul Kehoe did the honours when 236 graduates from IT Carlow's Wexford Campus were conferred at a ceremony at the National Opera House.
Graduates were conferred with Masters of Business; Masters of Arts in Child, Youth & Family Studies and MBA in Professional Arts Management. Degrees and Honours Degrees were conferred in several programmes including: Art; Visual Communications & Design; Early Childhood Education & Care, Applied Social Studies (Professional Social care), Law, Business, Architecture and Energy Management. Graduates were also awarded Higher Diplomas, Diplomas and Certificates across a range of disciplines.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, President of IT Carlow said that the institute is experiencing the fastest-growing student numbers of any other Institute of Technology in the country.
'We have increased our learner population by over 30 per cent in the past five years to over 7,000 learners in this academic year, and our graduates by over 50 per cent. We continue to attract learners globally.
Currently 10 per cent of our learners are international students.'
She said there had similarly been a significant increase in the postgraduate learner population with the percentage of postgraduate students now the second highest in the technological sector.
Dr. Mulcahy also highlighted the high employment rate for graduates of IT Carlow.
'In Ireland, the employment rate for graduates is currently at 80 per cent. For IT Carlow graduates, the employment rate is significantly higher again, 93 per cent at graduation and rising further to 96 per cent within six months of graduation,' she said.
The recently-approved 35-acre site in Wexford town for a new Wexford campus, and innovation at the institute's Wexford campus, such as the recent introduction of new degree programmes in Applied Humanities and Sustainable Farm Management and Agribusiness will see this increase continue upwards, according to Dr. Mulcahy. Currently, 850 full-time and part-time learners are studying at the Campus.
Minister Kehoe praised IT Carlow's engagement with the local community to increase higher education opportunities.
The minister also pointed to links forged by IT Carlow Wexford Campus with more than 70 local businesses which have, in turn, benefited from having access to a pool of skilled graduates. He cited and acknowledged the close interaction with key stakeholders in the county including Wexford County Council, Wexford Waterford Education and Training Board, Diocese of Ferns, and various agencies involved in enterprise development and education.
Chairman of Institute of Technology Carlow Governing Body John Moore said the Wexford Campus 'is an integral part of our vision for higher education in the south east'.