Ireland’s latest technological university will be established in the north-west of the country in 2022 after many years of campaigning.
Ireland’s new university for the north-west has been named Atlantic Technological University and is set to officially open its doors in April 2022.
Atlantic Technological University will merge IT Sligo, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and Letterkenny Institute of Technology. It received ministerial approval last month and the name was agreed upon by the applicant institutes after a comprehensive survey of students and staff.
The application for Atlantic Technological University was made by the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA), which campaigned for the technological university (TU) designation on behalf of the three institutes of technology.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, said that Ireland’s fourth technological university is expected to be established on 1 April 2022, subject to “relevant legislative processes”.
“This means that students of the current three institutes who graduate in this academic year of 2021-2022 and henceforth in the west and north-west will do so with university qualifications,” he added.
The applicant institutes will now launch an open public process seeking expressions of interest for the post of first president for Atlantic Technological University.
‘Many years of work’
Last month, CUA executive project lead Dr Seán Duffy said that getting TU status was the culmination of “many years of work by students, staff and stakeholders” across the alliance.
“It is a testimony to the calibre of our staff and the spirit of collaboration that has developed between CUA colleagues, which will serve us well as we prepare for the next phase of the TU development,” he added.
After the name and establishment date were confirmed by Harris today (23 November), the institutes said in a joint statement that the name Atlantic Technological University reflects the “deep connections” to the region and the “ability and ambition to impact” at a national and international scale.
“This name expresses a sense of place, culture and heritage, incorporating aspiration, scale, geography and our commitment to innovation and sustainability. It speaks to our unique perspective on an island in the Atlantic that makes waves on an international stage.”
The new TU will comprise eight campuses from north Donegal to south Galway. It will offer almost 600 academic programmes from pre-degree to doctoral level, with a student population of more than 20,000 supported by around 2,200 staff.
Harris also announced today that his department approved in principle the integration of St Angela’s College in Sligo into IT Sligo, which would enable the teaching and higher education college to become part of the university campus in Sligo.
“It makes a lot of sense for the college to incorporate into the other higher education powerhouse emerging now in the west/north-west in the form of the new TU,” Harris said.
Altantic Technological University is one of three TUs to be approved this year and the fifth since 2018.
The country’s first technological university, TU Dublin, was announced in 2018 with the merging of three ITs in the county. Munster TU was inaugurated at the beginning of this year with the amalgamation of Cork IT and IT Tralee, and Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest became Ireland’s third TU when it opened on 1 October.
Atlantic Technological University is set to become Ireland’s fourth TU and will be joined by a fifth in early 2022.
Earlier this month, it was announced that a TU is coming to Ireland’s south-east next year, bringing together Institute of Technology Carlow and Waterford Institute of Technology.
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