The Professional Services Steering Group (includes professional, management and support staff) has been established as part of the TU project governance structure and with authority delegated to it by the Joint Management Steering Group. The establishment of the PSSG confirms the full commitment of the professional, management and support staff to the development of the technological university. Its purpose is to engage the professional, management and support staff community, to establish trust and commitment to the project and to establish confidence in the process.
Working Group 8 — Digital Campus Supporting Teaching, Learning & Assessment
Working Group 9 — TU Student Development & Services
Working Group 10 — Computer Services & Organisation Management Systems
Working Group 11 — Human Resources
Working Group 12 — Extended Campus Model
Working Group 13 — Financial Consolidation, Viability & Projections
The Academic Steering Group (ASG) was established in April 2020 as part of the AIT/LIT Consortium governance structure, with authority delegated to it by the Joint Management Steering Group. The role of the ASG is to oversee and provide strategic direction and leadership in the development of an integrated plan to support and to facilitate the academic development of the AIT and LIT through each phase of the TU development process.
The ASG has established seven working groups with responsibility to inform the following areas for the project.
Working Group 1 — Mission, Vision &Values
Working Group 2 — Teaching, Learning & Assessment
Working Group 3 — Research & Innovation
Working Group 4 — Enterprise & Engagement
Working Group 5 — Apprenticeship & Skills Education
Working Group 6 — Quality and Qualifications
Working Group 7 — International
Independent auditors Deloitte started work on the audit process in April 2020. This process involves auditing the AIT - LIT Consortium's metrics as set out in legislation via the Technological Universities Act 2018.
A consultation forum with employee representative bodies was established in March 2020 in order to ensure that employees from both AIT and LIT were embedded and fully represented in the AIT - LIT Consortium's TU project and application.
Further progress was made on a new technological university (TU) with the announcement that the project management structure of the AIT/LIT Consortium is being put in place and project directors appointed.
Presidents of AIT and LIT Prof Ciarán Ó Catháin and Prof Vincent Cunnane, announced the appointment of Vice President of Academic Affairs and Registrar Dr Niall Seery, as project director for AIT and Terry Twomey, vice president of Academic Affairs and Registrar in Limerick, has been named the project director for LIT.
A procurement process to appoint a project facilitator, who will be central in forming the structure of the new TU, has also begun.
In November 2019, the Governing Bodies of both AIT and LIT formally approved the official AIT - LIT Consortium, thereby allowing the project structure and team to be formed.
In October 2019, the existing AIT and LIT Executive Management Teams formed a Joint Management Steering Group consisting of both institute presidents, financial controllers, registrars and other stakeholders as deemed appropriate by the management group.
In September 2019, the AIT - LIT Consortium welcomed the announcement by Minister Joe McHugh and Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor of €2 million in funding for the consortium as part of the Government’s investment in the progression and advancement of the technological university sector.
This funding further endorses the Governments support for the new AIT - LIT Consortium and the development a unique technological university for the Midlands and Mid-West.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor noted: “I am delighted that Athlone Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology have decided to come together as a technological university consortium. This merging of their respective strengths and attributes will be transformative for the Midlands and Mid-West, for their communities, regional economies and will provide new and exciting pathways to higher education for students.
“These priorities relate to wider higher education access, the provision of research-informed teaching and learning, to increasing regional development and socio-economic progress. Technological universities are anchors in their communities, acting as a catalyst for local and regional economies as employers, and also as incubators for industry and technology.”
In June 2019, the Governing Bodies of both AIT and LIT simultaneously approved the formation of a TU Consortium. This was a pivotal moment in allowing the TU project to move forward with the joint ambition to create something unique.
In May 2019, the Executive Management Teams of both AIT and LIT met for the first time in Birr, Co Offaly. It was a historic meeting for the two executive teams and provided an opportunity to cement their collective ambitions to apply for designation as a new technological university.
In March 2019, AIT and LIT submitted a joint application for funding to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under the Higher Education Landscape Fund. The HEA, with the support from the Department of Education and Skills, provided a fund to support consortia seeking designation as technological universities. The total funding available under this call was €14 million.
In February 2019, the Governing Bodies of AIT and LIT considered the future strategic direction of both institutes and their ambition to become a technological university.
The Technological Universities Act 2018 sets out a process whereby consortia may submit an application for TU designation. The main purpose of the Act is to allow for the merger of two or more institutes of technology to create a new technological university, which was one of the key aims of the Government's National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030.