A Word from the Presidents

Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, President of Athlone Institute of Technology.
Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, President of Athlone Institute of Technology.

"Over the last 10 years, it has been our stated ambition to become a technological university capable of transforming the region and impacting on lives regionally, nationally, and internationally. The scale of what has been achieved since the formation of the AIT – LIT Consortium in terms of reaching and surpassing the TU metrics and increasing our research capacity is immense.

"From the outset, we committed to delivering a TU in partnership with students and staff, which is evident through the high level of engagement and work that has taken place right across the project. Over 200 staff members in 20 working groups were involved in shaping the new TU.

"The AIT - LIT Consortium has a key role to play in the future development of the Midlands and Mid-West regions with an estimated combined impact on the Irish economy of €418.5 million in economic output."

"Our Student Unions from across the campuses have been instrumental in shaping and defining their vision for a new SU and in championing the student’s voice throughout the process. Our joint governing body has also been extremely supportive throughout this journey and has guided us in realising our ambition as a consortium.

"The impact of the new TU on our region will be significant, as identified in our socioeconomic study that forms part of our application. The AIT - LIT Consortium has a key role to play in the future development of the Midlands and Mid-West regions with an estimated combined impact on the Irish economy of €418.5 million in economic output. It will also have a role to play in ensuring a better balance of spatial development nationally and will position the Midlands and Mid-West to drive this connectedness.

"We are now in the final stages in submitting our application and preparing for an International Panel visit when we will defend our application. In September 2021, we expect to open our doors as Ireland’s newest technological university. None of this would be possible without the enthusiastic and passionate staff across our institutions who are hard at work to deliver a technological university for the Midlands and Mid-West."

Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin,
President, Athlone Institute of Technology.

Professor Vincent Cunnane, President of Limerick Institute of Technology.
Professor Vincent Cunnane, President of Limerick Institute of Technology

"We are on a technological university journey together, one that started some years ago in LIT and AIT, and one that has gathered pace since our consortium came into being in October of 2019. The stage we are at now is one of the final critical gateways that we have to go through. Once our application is lodged with the HEA, our pathway becomes even more clearly defined as our proposal is assessed and we look forward to a visit by the International Panel.

“Our strategy is rooted in ambition and
consensus, and the form and direction of
new TU will be informed by the views of
staff on all campuses.”

"Of course, this application comes against a background of years of preparation and the adoption of complementary strategic directions in both institutions that allowed us to form a consortium and travel to where we are now. Significantly, this all means that we now meet the TU criteria, substantially helped by the €2 million in government funding for initiatives including staff PhDs and increased postgraduate student numbers.

"Our strategy is rooted in ambition and consensus, and the form and direction of new TU will be informed by the views of staff on all campuses. The staff survey conducted over the summer has uncovered a new commonality of purpose and intent across LIT and AIT – a shared desire to centre our effort on our students and to provide access to high-quality higher education to those who would benefit from it, regardless of background or geography, a concern with the development
of our regions, and a set of shared values. Of course, this is reinforced by the complementarity in our academic offerings and our pedagogical approaches as well as our attitude to applied research.

"I wish to thank the very many staff who have been directly involved in the TU project to date, whether through working groups or other means. I know all of that work will bear fruit through a new institution, greater than the sum of its parts, which will be better positioned to serve our students and our regions into the future."

Professor Vincent Cunnane,
President, Limerick Institute of Technology.

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