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South East Population Growth-Good News for Universty Bid?

  • 26-07-2006 10:43am
    Registered Users Posts: 19,052 ✭✭✭✭

    Population growth in southeast to increase higher education demand
    The population growth in the southeast region recorded in the preliminary report on Census 2006 published on Wednesday July 19 by the Central Statistics Office indicates that there will be an increased demand for higher education within the region in the years ahead. That’s according to Prof Kieran R Byrne, Director, Waterford Institute of Technology.

    With Wexford recording one of the highest population growth figures in the country at 12.9 per cent, Prof Byrne noted that the overall population of the southeast had grown from 423,616 to 460,474 during the 2002-2006 inter-census period, an increase of 36,858.

    “This was rightly viewed as an important Census to provide firm up-to-date data on population trends that can then help input to planning and policy decisions at a local, regional and national level. From the southeast’s perspective, the population growth trend continues and this will present particular opportunities and challenges in the coming period.

    “Among these is the responsibility to make adequate provision to meet the higher education requirements of this growing population base – especially in a context where we must now think of learning as lifelong rather than something to be completed and moved on from in the early- to mid-20s,” Prof Byrne asserted.

    “The major resource of any region is its human capital. The fact that the population in the southeast is growing poses the challenge of sustainability. A region and its population will not be sustained and developed without the appropriate higher education infrastructure or the knowledge economy to support it.

    “Within the southeast, there are also clear trends emerging with Wexford’s population continuing to be boosted by the growing commuter range of greater Dublin and this partly accounts for the shift from a population of 116,596 in 2002 to 131,615 in 2006.

    Kilkenny [80,339 to 87,394; an increase of 8.8 per cent]; Carlow [46,014 to 50,471; increase of 9.7 per cent]; Waterford city and county [101,546 to 107,942; increase of 6.3 per cent] and South Tipperary [79,121 to 83,052; increase of 5 per cent] also each experienced marked population growth in the 2002-2006 period.”

    Prof Byrne added, “At Waterford Institute of Technology, we look forward to continuing to adapt to meet the changing requirements of the southeast region and the country as a whole. To this end, the introduction of a series of new degree and postgraduate programmes beginning this autumn is especially welcome and timely.”