MINISTER of State for Further Education and Skills Niall Collins TD and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD have today (5 May 2021) granted Technological University (TU) status to Limerick Institute of Technology and Athlone Institute of Technology.
This is the third TU to be created since 2019 and is a milestone for the Mid-West and the Midlands.
Minister of State for Further Education and Skills and TD for Limerick County, Niall Collins, commented: “This is a transformational event for the people of the Mid-West and the Midlands.
“We know the many faceted benefits of TUs and we are seeing how they can transform regions elsewhere. I am very much looking forward to this new TU bringing those benefits from Clare and Limerick, through Tipperary and up the mighty Shannon across the Midlands to Athlone and beyond.
“This will allow people across the Mid-West and the Midlands and beyond to obtain a university degree in their home places. As a former LIT lecturer and a proud Limerick man I am delighted to see this milestone being reached and I want to congratulate all involved.” he said.
The process to designate a new TU is enshrined in the Technological Universities Act 2018. The next steps in the legislative process require the Minister to bring forward a draft order establishing the appointed day on which the new technological university will be legally established and Limerick and Athlone ITs consequentially dissolved for approval by the Houses of the Oireachtas.
A date for this requirement is currently being considered but subject to the order being approved in due course all students graduating in the 2021-2022 academic year will do so with university qualifications.
Minister Harris added: “I would like to warmly congratulate and sincerely thank the very many people from the two Institutions including their management, governing bodies, staff, students and the wider regional and community stakeholders who have enabled today’s announcement and who can now look forward to an exciting future for this new university and the regions it will serve.”