Cashel's Chelsea Hoare who graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Honours) degree, with LIT lecturer in Marketing and Entrepreneurship Fiona Browne.
The head of Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) has described the institute's campuses in Clonmel and Thurles as examples of how higher education can work outside major cities.
And the development at the former Kickham Barracks site in Clonmel is a key element of LIT's future strategy in the town.
Welcoming the publication of the Financial Review of the Institutes of Technology, LIT president Professor Vincent Cunnane called for the immediate implementation of actions to support the technological education sector.
The review questioned the financial viability of a number of third level institutes around the country, but speaking at a conferring ceremony in Thurles Professor Cunnane said the two Tipperary centres were an example of how well the system can work. He noted that LIT welcomes the publication of this HEA Review and is calling for urgency in implementing the actions contained within it.
Against this backdrop, he also cited LIT Clonmel and LIT Thurles as examples of how higher education can succeed outside of the major cities.
Addressing almost 200 graduates, he continued: “There is a stark reality at the heart of the HEA’s review. It clearly demonstrates serious under-funding of Higher Education in Ireland, and points to a set of actions which must be undertaken to address the situation.
“Despite the ingenuity and commitment demonstrated by the sector in recent years, the inescapable conclusion is that the prompt implementation of these actions is absolutely critical if the higher education sector is to deliver the skilled graduates necessary to sustain the growth in jobs that we have recently seen.
"For our part, we in LIT will work with government, the HEA and other stakeholders to achieve this end".
He pointed out that LIT has invested in the Clonmel and Thurles campuses to ensure that their graduates have practical experience at the cutting edge.
"Indeed, the number of LIT students in Tipperary has grown to around a thousand, and the course offerings here have grown.
"Just this year, we launched new programmes in Early Childhood Care & Education and in Marketing and Management.
"Next year, we will offer Business with Sports Management. Demand for programmes is strong, and we are planning on significant investment in Clonmel.
“LIT’s Thurles and Clonmel campuses are examples of how higher education can be successful outside of the major cities.
“Our policy is to invest our resources sensibly in targeted areas which will provide the optimum benefit to the economy and the optimum job prospects to our graduates.
“It is fair to say that the diagnosis of the issues facing higher education in Ireland is now done, and we must move without delay to implementing the remedy. It is therefore of absolute importance that the actions set out in this report are implemented without further delay. This includes new capital provisions and the new stability fund.
“If these actions are carried out, then LIT will be able to greatly strengthen its role as a generator of economic activity and employment
“This will benefit students, their families, communities, the region and Ireland as a whole.
“Our strategy is underpinned by capital investment in key projects that include at Kickham Barracks in Clonmel, as well as interconnected large-scale developments in Limerick city,” he added.