Council Archives


Naas a University Town

Thu 13 May 2004

Timmy Conway's vision for Naas is to see it become a University town. In a recent visit to Omaha (twinned with Naas); he got agreement in principle from the University of Nebraska, that they would provide Outreach facilities to a third level institute in Naas. Timmy facilitated a meeting between the Board of Directors and the Directors of the European College of Management based in Johnstown. Both parties were excited at the prospect of closer connections. They envisaged an interchange of students between Naas and Nebraska to complete semesters in whichever location was most appropriate. Timmy sees a university business campus based in the Millennium Park working in close cooperation with the local businesses that would be attracted by the partnership research possibilities. This has proven to be a very fruitful combination in the past. The Naas community owns twenty acres in the Millennium Park which would be ideal for this type of campus. This could also support start-up units along the lines pioneered by Gallup in Nebraska. See also our item on the Peter Kiewit Institute.

On his recent visit to China, Timmy met with the Mayor of E Zhou Mr Xie Song Bao and also with the President of the Mr Hu Guoming. They were both very interested in developing further links with Naas and felt that both cultures would benefit a lot from closer cooperation.

Outreach Facilities have already been offered by Tallaght IT see article "Tallaght IT supports outreach concept" below:

Kildare Net News: 23 April 2001: by Brian Byrne

The Tallaght Institute of Technology has agreed in principle to provide courses for an ‘out centre for higher education’ in Naas, following a recent presentation made by Cllr Timmy Conway on the development of Naas.

The director of the IT, Columb Collins has written to Cllr Conway confirming that the institute ‘supports the development’ of such an out centre in Naas, and will provide ‘appropriate’ courses when it is established.

"This could move fairly fast," Cllr Conway said last week after receiving the confirmation. "The idea is still based on the fact that we have 20 acres zoned for educational purposes in Millennium Park, but I would envisage beginning the out centre in some other building in Naas pending the further development of Millennium."

A ‘task force’ of interested parties is likely to be convened soon, involving senior management of both Naas UDC and Kildare County Council, Cllr Conway said, revealing that preliminary discussions had already taken place on how the project might be further progressed.

The out centre would provide third level courses tied in with the needs of companies setting up in Millennium Park and similar projects around Naas, but Cllr Conway said it would also provide facilities related to the needs of companies already established in other mid-Kildare centres, such as Newbridge.

"The idea is that certificate and diploma courses will be provided through the out centre, and graduates could then go on for degree courses at Tallaght or Maynooth," he said.

Cllr Conway said that a previous effort to attract such an outreach centre had been well progressed two years ago, with Athlone RTC.

"But then the minister put a stop to the development of such centres and it came to nothing," he said. "Now that stop has been lifted, and I understand he is quite keen that one should be established in Naas. When we discussed the proposition with Tallaght a couple of years ago, they were not ready because they were still in a process of development themselves. But now Mr Collins has confirmed that they will support us."