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Cats stake out first university

by Edited by Jimmy Rhatigan

KILKENNY’S student Cats are set for a prowl of neighbouring Waterford to find out what it will be like to study at the region’s first university.

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and its partner Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow) will become SETU on May 1. 

The Schools’ Open Day on this Friday, 1 April (10am-2pm) is the first opportunity Kilkenny school leavers will have had to explore the SETU Waterford campus at an in-person open day since 2019.

An evening open event on this Thursday, March 31 (6pm-8pm) is ideal for adult learners or CAO applicants across  Kilkenny who want to take time asking lecturers, support staff and students the questions that matter.

“The most recent feeder school stats highlighted the popularity of Waterford as a place to study for the class of 2021,” Dr Richard Hayes, Vice President for Strategy at WIT told Kilkenny Press. 

WIT is the largest recruiter of students from the south east. One in three school leavers who go onto higher education from the south east go to Waterford to study, more than UCC, UL and UCD combined.


WIT ranks as the No. 1 destination for Kilkenny students attending higher education in the county. 

In 2021 838 Kilkenny school leavers went to college; in 2021 24% (197) of these started on one of WIT’s 70 CAO undergraduate courses.

Of the 2,534 graduates of 2021 who were recently conferred 281 are from Kilkenny (11%).

Dr Derek O’Byrne, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Registrar at WIT says he is delighted to welcome Leaving Cert students, their teachers, and parents/guardians to the main Waterford campus.

“In-person events at which people can talk to their future lecturers, explore the facilities and walk the corridors they may be walking for the next four years are core to our ‘right student, right programme’ ethos. 

“We want every single student who accepts an offer of a place here to know, having done the right research, and having asked the right questions that it’s a course and career path that’s suited to them, rather than following friends or trends,” adds Dr O’Byrne.


“Our team has worked hard to bring the campus and student experience alive online over the past two years with online open days, parents’ events, virtual tours and on-demand talks. 

“However, we know how important the sense of a campus or location is to making the right course choices, and so we are grateful to be in the position to bring college applicants onto campus.”

The Thursday evening open event is suited to small groups and individuals and ideal for CAO applicants who want to bring parents, guardians, friends or family along.

May 1 is also the deadline for late applications and WIT is one of the institutes that accepts late applications from mature students (except for restricted courses). 

On May 5 the CAO change of mind opens, allowing applicants to amend their order of preference, add and remove courses.

While the creation of SETU will see many positive changes over the coming months and beyond, CAO codes and all existing course entry criteria and admissions policies will remain the same for 2022 entry.

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