The AIT - LIT Consortium will officially begin the process of creating a new technological university for the Midlands and Mid-West in the coming weeks, when a formal application is submitted to Government.
The HEA will accept the application on behalf of the State and this in turn will trigger a series of events that should see the new TU in situ as early as next September.
The assessment process is expected to move at pace with an international panel to visit all campuses (virtually) in January and interview staff and students, before making a recommendation to Government.
The AIT - LIT Consortium has now met the key metrics required for TU designation.
The application being submitted is largely built on the work of approximately 200 staff members from across both institutions and through working groups under the leadership of the TU project directors, Terry Twomey and Dr Niall Seery, project facilitator, Prof Tom Collins, and the presidents of both institutions - Prof Vincent Cunnane and Prof Ciarán Ó Catháin.
The AIT - LIT Consortium has now met the key metrics required for TU designation. Independent auditors, BDO, have confirmed that the consortium has surpassed the target of 4% research students, with a figure of 4.28% across both institutions.
The target for flexible, industry, and part time programmes is set at 30%. The independent auditors have reported that this figure has reached 54% in industry-led programmes across the AIT - LIT Consortium.
The consortium has ensured staff and student surveys have remained central to its work.
Reaching 45% staff doctoral level or equivalent - 35% PhD level and 10% equivalent - was always going to be a significant target for the institutions, but that final target too has been reached.
Cognisant of the need to maintain the strong student-centered ethos and steadfast working relationships with industry and the community built up over decades by both institutions, the consortium has ensured staff and student surveys have remained central to its work.
In June this year, a staff survey which 657 staff members responded to (a 55% response rate) found that staff at AIT and LIT strongly held the view that the student-centred approach of both institutions should remain central to the new TU.
The AIT - LIT Consortium has also carried out a socioeconomic impact study, student survey and governance research, and a process is also in place to discover a name for the new technological university.
Following this timeline, AIT and LIT will both cease to exist as separate legal entities from next September and will instead form a new technological university.