The current era of social media and fake news means that graduates, whatever their discipline, need to think critically, be constructively sceptical and see beyond the superficial and egotistical to the important and the true. Even then, knowledge and reason alone are never enough; these must be embedded in a values system.
So said the President of Institute of Technology Carlow, Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, who was speaking at the first in a series of conferrings of graduates from the Institute’s Faculty of Science.
A total of 11 ceremonies are taking place until 1st December that will see over 2,700 graduates conferred with degrees, higher degrees and doctorates across the Institute of Technology Carlow campuses and locations in Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow. Carlow is most popular third level choice among Laois Leaving Certs.
Addressing graduates, their families, academic staff and special guests on Thursday, November 2 Dr Mulcahy said: “This is an uncertain time and perhaps you are facing more uncertainty than many that have gone before. You will be tackling the need to discriminate between fact and fiction, between lies and truths as never before. Our highest aspiration as a higher education institution is not just about knowledge and reason, but experience and good judgement.”
“Key advice we impart to new learners is to emphasise that their higher education is not simply about mastering mere facts, but that it is very much about learning how to drive your own intellectual and creative development over the entire course of your life. It is this that prepares you for the erratic winds that rock our economy on a regular basis, and it equips you for not just your first job, but for many possible careers throughout your lifetime. Embrace the possibilities and your undoubted capacity to continue to learn – a capacity that your time here has given to you”, said Dr. Mulcahy.
“Today you become part of a larger community of Institute of Technology Carlow graduates that is 50,000 members strong. An alumni pursuing careers in all walks of life all over the globe, making good choices - brave and ambitious choices - and doing amazing things”.
Dr. Mulcahy highlighted a series of institute-wide and faculty-specific distinctions achieved in the past year. Amongst these accolades is the consistent placement of Institute of Technology Carlow in the top-tier of high-performing, university-level institutions by the Higher Education Authority, following international expert review.
“Our success is rooted in the talent, professionalism, energy and commitment of our students and alumni, our staff and collaborative partners and our Governing Body. We continue to rely on this to sustain our impact and create our future successes,” said Dr Mulcahy.
“And we are determined to do much more; to take our Institute into our next 50 years and realise our vision for a new type of Irish Technological University.
The announcement last month by the Minister for Education and Minister for Higher Education of a new advanced science and technology building for Institute of Technology Carlow will contribute to the Institute’s overall €150mn capital programme which it is midway through rolling out, said Dr. Mulcahy.
Further plans are at an advanced stage for the completion of its 30-acre South Sports Campus. Institute of Technology Carlow is also at the planning and design stage for a new customised campus for Wexford, and for the development of a further site adjacent to the Institute on the Kilkenny Road.
Since its founding in 1970, Institute of Technology Carlow has generated over 50,000 graduates. It currently ranks as the 4th largest of Ireland’s 14 Institutes of Technology with more than 7,500 enrolments and 800 staff. Institute of Technology Carlow provides higher educational programmes, and research and enterprise development opportunities, through its centres in Carlow, Wexford, and Wicklow.
The Institute offers more than 80 taught programmes to Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), and boasts the second highest percentage of postgraduates in the IoT sector. Institute of Technology Carlow has the highest percentage of Lifelong Learners in the sector, which reflects the commitment to providing higher educational opportunities for all.