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The LIT building - soon to be renamed TU: Shannon: Midlands, Midwest - in Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly

Date set for Ennis to officially become university town

FIRST day of term for the new Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest has been announced as October 1, writes Jessica Quinn.
From that date, Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) will cease to exist, and more than 15,000 students and 1,200 staff across the Midlands and Midwest will be teaching, learning and researching at the newly designated TUS: Midlands Midwest.
On this day also, Ennis will become a university town for the first time, given the presence of a campus there, while Athlone, Clonmel and Thurles will also become university towns.
The recruitment of a president for Ireland’s first cross-regional university has also begun, 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.
Chair of LIT Governing Body Tony Brazil said, “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.”
Chair of AIT Governing Body Liam Rattigan meanwhile said the role of the inaugural president of TUS: Midlands Midwest cannot be under estimated and their leadership will be essential.
“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.”

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