US campus to locate in Waterford

A SITE in Dungarvan, Co Waterford will be developed into the first European campus for a US college. Mercyhurst College of Eire, Pennsylvania, has confirmed that it will establish a base in Ireland for its students, many whom are specialising in areas such as intelligence and forensics with the aim of joining the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The college plans to launch its education programmes in spring 2010 and hopes that students will have the option of completing an entire year of study by 2011. It is expected that 25 students will enter the college in 2010, and it is hoped that this number will be doubled to 50 for the following year.

In the short-term, the students will have lectures in buildings leased by the college, but it is hoped the site at Shandon in the town centre will be suitable as a purpose-built campus. Students will live in Dungarvan for their two or three terms of study in high quality townhouse accommodation provided through the Park Hotel. They will also have access to the hotel’s leisure and fitness facilities.

It is intended that staff of Mercyhurst College will conduct lectures in conjunction with staff from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and University College Cork (UCC).

The Vice-President of Advancement at Mercyhurst College, Dr David Livingstone, was in Ireland two weeks ago for meetings about the development of the college, which has been welcomed by the people of Dungarvan. Local Fine Gael TD, John Deasy, described the project as a “golden opportunity” for Ireland and revealed that Ireland was in competition with Holland for the intelligence studies projects and therefore “pulled out all the stops” to ensure its placement in Ireland.

Around 9,000 people live in Dungarvan while another 15,000 people live in the surrounding area. The college directors hope that the scheme will strengthen its ties with Ireland and help promote diversity and global engagement.