In March, it was announced that Athlone IT and Limerick IT would merge to form the country’s third technological university. In the past week it has been revealed that the new TU, based in Munster, will be called the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest.
The name was decided upon to reflect the college’s connection with the river Shannon.
The announcement was made by Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill, just two weeks after she announced the formation of the new TU.
“I believe this name is very fitting for our region and for a University that is going to boast campuses in a wide selection of locations across the Midlands and Mid-West” said Cahill in a statement, “and I believe this name will be greeted with positivity by locals also.”
The President of Limerick IT, Vincent Cunnane, said it was “another big day” for the two institutes of technology.
“Two weeks ago we were designated as a Technological University and today we have a name, a new name for a new beginning and a new institution,” Cunnane told ClareFM, shortly after the announcement was made.
Technological University of the Shannon stands for ‘Tús’ in Irish which means ‘new beginnings’ and highlights the “fresh start for staff, students and stakeholders,” according to Cunnane.
Around 3,500 people participated in the discussions regarding the new name of the university, “which has produced a name that is both reflective of our region and speaks to our ability to impact regionally, nationally and internationally,” said AIT’s president, Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin.
TUS:MMW will have six campuses across Limerick, Ennis, Athlone and Thurles and is expected to employ around 1,200 people and have a student population of 15,000, when it opens later this year.
“The TU will give the Midwest and Midlands a huge competitive edge and it will also offer people living in the region and beyond more choice,” said Limerick TD, Niall Collins in a statement.
“It will also provide our employers with a pipeline of skills and talented graduated to fill the gaps in our labour force,” Collins told live95FM.
A report commissioned by Shannon International Development, echoes Collins statement, by describing how the new TU will have a ‘key role’ to play in restoring the finances of the country, post-pandemic.
“Ireland’s next technological university is well placed to address the challenges of a post-pandemic economy by meeting the resulting demands for higher education, upskilling and reskilling, as well as addressing educational disadvantage and economic regional imbalances,” states the report, entitled ‘The Socio-Economic Assessment of the AIT-LIT Consortium”.
Image Credit: Limerick IT