Today, Athlone Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology have been granted the status of Technological University (TU). This status was today granted by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris and is being considered a “landmark” for the Midlands and Mid-West.
As of the 2021/2022 academic year, students who graduate from these institutions will do so with university qualifications.
It is required for institutes to follow legislative procedures, established in the Technological Universities Act 2018. Following steps involve the current minister to bring forward a draft order establishing the appointed day on which the new technological university will be legally established.
This follows the application of Waterford Institute of Technology and IT Carlow to establish a similar TU institution for the South East last Friday.
This development of technological universities throughout Ireland is a government policy established in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, published in 2011.
Speaking today, Harris expressed congratulations for the people of the two institutions and went on to say that these individuals “can now look forward to an exciting future for this new university and the regions it will serve”.
These comments were echoed by Minister of State for Further Education and Skills, Niall Collins who said that “this is a transformational event for the people of the Midlands and the Mid-West”.
Collins continued: “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 Shannon across the Midlands to Athlone and beyond,” Collins said.
He added: “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.”
This is the third status of TU to be granted since 2019, the first of which, TU Dublin, being established on 1 January 2019.