New TU to have “regional focus with a national reach and an international outlook.”
AIT and LIT have confirmed that they are coming together to form a consortium to develop a new technological university (TU) for the Midlands and Mid-West Regions.
The Governing Bodies of both institutions met last week and formally confirmed the formation of a new TU consortium. This is the key governance step opening the pathway to commence work on the new university. It follows the announcement by the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor that the Government is to make funding of €90 million available for the development of technological universities over the next three years.
AIT and LIT made a joint application for funding earlier this year to commence work on the TU consortium. An announcement on this application is expected to be made by the government in the near future.
LIT President Prof Vincent Cunnane welcomed the move as “generationally significant for the Mid-West”.
“Our intention is to build a new type of networked university with the River Shannon forming its spine. We will enhance our regional focus and our collaboration with partners here in the Mid-West."
Professor Vincent Cunnane, President of Limerick Institute of Technology
“We are now set on a trajectory towards achieving technological university designation. This approach allows us to develop a unique new technological university that will have a clear regional focus with a national and international outlook. Our application is aimed at developing a new unique university with a strengthened regional focus that will benefit our staff, our students and the communities we serve," Prof Cunnane said.
“Our intention is to build a new type of networked university with the River Shannon forming its spine. We will enhance our regional focus and our collaboration with partners here in the Mid-West.
“This puts us in a position to provide accessible Higher Education to a large portion of the country’s population while strengthening our commitment to our regions. This is an approach that has increasingly been taken in the formation of new universities in Europe, and we see a major benefit for our stakeholders by adopting it in Ireland.
“Collaboration is at the heart of this networked university – collaboration with our partners in higher education, in industry, our communities and in Government."
AIT President Prof Ciarán Ó Catháin, added that achieving TU designation will be “transformative for the Midlands and Mid-West Regions.”
“Our partnership with Limerick Institute of Technology will play a pivotal role in helping us achieve our ambitious mission and our forward-thinking partnership is key to unlocking the potential of both of our institutes and regions," he said.
“This announcement positions the two institutions in a unique strategic collaboration that bridges our respective regional partners, maintaining a focus on impact and engagement while at the same time strengthening capacity.
“Underpinning our mission is the formation of partnerships with industry and academia which will help develop and sustain our collaborative, cross-cutting research and further enhance our capacity to enrich civic, social and cultural engagement while providing new and essential access and pathways for all learners," he added.