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Limerick IT and Athlone IT merge to form new technological university for Midlands and Mid-West

A new technological university is coming up for the Midlands and Midwest in Ireland. The plan is to merge the Athlone Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology to form a new technological university.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris made the announcement yesterday. “The higher education landscape is rapidly evolving and the people of the Midlands and Mid-West will henceforth be at the heart both geographically and practically of that evolution,” Minister said.

AIT President Professor Ciarán Catháin welcomed the new announcement, labeling it a “historic day” for the people of the Midlands and Mid-West region.

“Today’s designation will see AIT and LIT come together to form a new educational powerhouse, linked by the River Shannon. Unique in its geography, the new university will border almost half of Ireland’s 26 counties, providing unprecedented levels of access to higher education,” said Prof. Ciarán Catháin.

“This will be a transformative change in accessibility and one that we are proud to lead. As a new university, we will be bold and ambitious. We will drive future development and technological innovation across Ireland and on an international stage through cross-cutting, high-TRL [Technology readiness level] research and knowledge transfer to stakeholders in industry,” he added.

LIT President Professor Vincent Cunnane also welcomed the announcement of new university, calling it a “red-letter day” for the region.

The institution is estimated to have over 14,000 students and a workforce of about 1,200 people across six campuses in Athlone, Limerick (2), Clonmel, Ennis, and Thurles.

A Technological University Dublin was established in 2019 following the merger of three Institutes of Technology in central Dublin. Similarly, in January 2021, IT Tralee merged with Cork IT to become Munster Technological University.

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