October 1, 2021, has been formally confirmed as the first day of the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest.
On Friday last, Minister for Further Education, Simon Harris, signed the statutory instrument noting the landmark autumn date for the establishment of the technological university and the dissolution of both Athlone IT and Limerick IT.
On this day also, four towns will become university towns for the first time, as the new TU will include campuses in Athlone, Clonmel, Ennis, and Thurles as well as the two campuses in Limerick, affording education to more than 15,000 third level students.
The official confirmation of technological university status for Athlone and Midlands region was welcomed by Cllr Frankie Keena, Cathaoirleach, Westmeath County Council.
“As a member of the Athlone IT governing body, this is a milestone moment for education in Athlone and the wider Midlands region. This action taken by Minister Harris is the culmination of many years of diligent work undertaken by the presidents, governing bodies and academic staff of both Athlone IT and Limerick IT.
“Athlone is now a university town where a wide choice of excellent education opportunities will be provided to students. The economic benefit of TU status through inward investment in Athlone and the Midlands region will be vast.
“I would sincerely like to express my gratitude to Professor Ciaran O’Catháin, president, Athlone IT, his academic staff and my colleagues on the governing body for their endless work in delivering university status to Athlone. This is truly an historic occasion for all concerned,” Cllr Keena commented.
Recruitment of president
The recruitment of a president for Ireland’s first cross-regional university has also commenced with the application process now opened to suitably qualified persons.
The inaugural president will be charged with leading transformational change across adjacent regions linked by the River Shannon.
These significant steps on the road to Ireland’s third technological university were welcomed by both the chair of AIT Governing Body Liam Rattigan and the chair of LIT Governing Body Tony Brazil.
“The role of the inaugural president of TUS: Midlands Midwest cannot be underestimated and their leadership essential to the development of the TU. We are seeking an inspiring and strategic leader, with a proven track record of achievement at an appropriately senior level in higher education, business and enterprise, or the public sector.
“They will be required to have highly developed leadership, organisational, and communication skills, combined with the strategic capability, vision, and drive to shape the future of Ireland’s newest technological university,” Mr Rattigan remarked.
“October 1, 2021, will not only be a significant day in the history of Irish education, but the beginning of what is potentially a new era in investment and development in the regions. TUS: Midlands Midwest will have the capacity to open up third level, active learning, to regions and a people previously underserved.
“It will further expand the capacity of research and training that will not only support indigenous and multi-national companies already in the Midlands and Midwest but will encourage further investment and development outside of Dublin. Friday, October 1, 2021, is not just the first day of the month, but the first day of a brighter future for the regions,” Mr Brazil commented.
Mazars will be managing all aspects of this recruitment project on behalf of the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest.
Further information is available at www.mazars.ie (search reference TUS0121 ) with interviews scheduled to take place on Monday, August 9, and Tuesday, August 10.