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Clonmel & Thurles On Course To Become University Towns

Clonmel and Thurles on course to become University Towns by September 1st 2021, as AIT-LIT Consortium’s TU application goes to Government.

Combined Economic Impact of LIT and AIT found to be close to €420 million

Clonmel and Thurles are on course to become university towns as early as September 2021, following confirmation that the AIT-LIT Consortium has formally submitted its Technological University application to Government.

The new Technological University for the Mid-West and Midlands is expected to comprise a student population of up to 15,000 and a staff complement of approximately 1,200 people across six campuses – Thurles, Clonmel, Ennis, Athlone and two in Limerick.

An economic impact study commissioned by the consortium has found that the combined impact of the two institutions on the Irish economy is close to €420 million euros in economic output, while they support more than 800 jobs in addition to their own staff complement.

The consortium, which formally commenced in October of 2019, has targeted a date of September 1st next year for the new university to open, and is today (Monday) also embarking on a broad consultation process to name the new Technological University.

Academic unions in both LIT and AIT have voted overwhelmingly in favour of measures contained in the Technological University project plan.

Commenting on the application, President of LIT, Professor Vincent Cunnane has stated, “We are on a pathway to deliver a unique new Technological University that will cross regions and transcend geography. While this will be an institution of scale, it will retain the familiarity of local campuses across two significant regions. This enables us to act as a regional development powerhouse into the future, delivering education and research that will benefit students, educators, communities, business and industry in a strategic way. Our approach is based on partnership and consensus, and is indeed underpinned by consultation with staff, students and other stakeholders. The consortium has a strong set of shared values and a shared ethic that provides a firm foundation to deliver on our future strategy.”

President of AIT, Professor Ciaran Ó Catháin said, “This is a transformational development for the Midlands, and once it comes to fruition, it will provide significant social and economic benefit to communities across the region and beyond. Becoming a TU will broaden access to higher education and create opportunities in areas that have previously been underserved with respect to apprenticeships right through to PhD. I am immensely proud of the progress that have been made since the formation of the AIT – LIT Consortium a little over a year ago and of our staff, who have worked together in the spirit of common purpose to share knowledge and expertise. This has culminated in us reaching and surpassing the substantive TU metrics set out by Government and increasing our research capacity. Our commitment to our technological mission is resolute and will result in a talent pipeline of professionally and technically skilled graduates capable of propelling regional and national growth.”

Professor Tom Collins, AIT-LIT TU Consortium Project Facilitator congratulated the “management, staff and students of both institutes, who in a short time and through all the challenges of the current year, have re-imagined the future of the two institutions around a compelling vision for a new Technological University in the Irish Midlands and Mid-West.”

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