Friday, November 20, 2020, was a significant day in the history of Irish education. It was the day the AIT- LIT Consortium submitted our application for technological university designation to Government. This application was the culmination of several years’ work, and the first of four key milestones on the road to becoming Ireland’s first cross-regional university and lead transformational change across our adjacent Midlands and Mid-West region.
Our journey to this point has uncovered a strong set of shared values among our students and staff, a student-centred ethos, a commitment to providing access to an excellent standard of higher education to all who would benefit from it, and a clear commitment to balanced regional development. It is this commonality of commitment, alongside our academic complementarity and regional orientation, that underpins our desire and ambition to create an impactful, contemporary technological university to serve communities across our regions, Ireland and beyond.
“It is this commonality of commitment, alongside our academic complementarity and regional orientation, that underpins our desire and ambition to create an impactful, contemporary technological university to serve communities across Ireland’s Midlands and Mid-West and beyond.”
This process has been met with great positivity and buy-in from staff across all functions and levels of our respective institutes. Their ownership of this transformational process and engagement with one another has proved extremely productive and has served as a backdrop to the development of very strong governance and operational teams for the AIT – LIT Consortium.
Indeed, this shared understanding, common purpose and ability to work together has already borne fruit in the form of RUN-EU, a network of likeminded and regionally focused HEIs committed to societal transformation across Europe. The AIT – LIT Consortium was instrumental in the formation of this alliance formally launched on November 1 last year.
The submission of our TU application has triggered a chain of events that should see our transformative TU in situ by September 2021. We now await a visit from the International Panel, who will assess our submission and submit its report to Government. This visit will take place virtually, beginning at the end of this month, and will allow the panel members to learn more about our institutes, our people and our wider community. We are confident that these meetings with students and staff will capture our energy, enthusiasm, and ambition for the TU project