Limerick Institute of Technology
The Limerick Institute of Technology (or simply LIT; Irish: Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Luimneach) is an institution of higher education located in Limerick, Ireland and one of 14 member institutions of the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA). The institute has campuses in Limerick, and in both Thurles and Clonmel in County Tipperary, and a regional learning centre in Ennis, County Clare. The main campus is located at Moylish Park adjacent to Thomond Park and houses the Faculty of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology and the School of Business and Humanities. The School of Art & Design is located at the Clare Street and Clonmel campuses.
Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Luimneach
Crest of Limerick Institute of Technology
|Motto||English: Active Leadership in Education, Enterprise and Engagement|
LIT offers courses at level 6 (certificate) through to level 10 (PhD) whilst also catering for craft apprentices and adult and continuing education. The institute has twice been named as The Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year in The Sunday Times University Guide, firstly in 2008 and again in 2013.
On 23 November 2020, the AIT-LIT Consortium announced that the joint Limerick-Athlone IT application for Technological University status had been submitted for government approval. The objective is to establish a new technical university for central and midwestern Ireland / Technological University of Central & Midwestern Ireland, with a target opening date of 1 September 2021.
LIT traces its roots back to the 1852 foundation of the School of Ornamental Art on Leamy Street. This re-opened in 1855 on Cecil Street under the auspices of the Limerick Athenaeum, founded by William Lane Joynt. The Limerick Athenaeum was part of an international movement for the promotion of artistic and scientific learning, started by John Wilson Croker at the Athenaeum Club in London in 1823.
The trustees of the Limerick Athenaeum handed the building over to Limerick Corporation in 1896 in order to administer the property for the advancement of artistic and technical education in Limerick. This brought the tradition of fusing artistic and technical education into the public domain, a tradition that has been retained and refined by LIT.
For much of the history of the institute, it was constituted as the Municipal Technical Institute (known locally as The Red Tech) which was opened in 1910. By the 1970s, it had grown to such a degree that a new campus had to be acquired in Moylish for technical education, with artistic education continuing in a number of locations in the city centre.
The institute was constituted as Limerick College of Art, Commerce and Technology (Limerick CoACT) in 1980, became a Regional Technical College in 1993 and an Institute of Technology in 1997.
Moylish has developed into the main campus of Limerick Institute of Technology, with Limerick School of Art and Design fully located in its Clare Street Campus since 2008.
In 2012, LIT merged with Tipperary Institute, which had been founded in 1998. This merger brought LIT's distinctive educational ethos to two new campus locations in Thurles and Clonmel and increased the institution's footprint across the region. This footprint was further extended in Clare, when LIT introduced degree-level education at its Ennis Learning Centre in 2016. In 2017, the institute was granted planning permission for a new campus at Coonagh in Limerick, to be focused on teaching and research in engineering.
Pat MacDonagh served as head of the college from 1978, through its evolution to an RTC and Institute of Technology, he resigned as director in 2003. Dr. Maria Hinfelaar joined in 2004 as president, serving for 11 years. In 2016 Prof Vincent Cunnane was appointed president of LIT.
The institute is divided into three Schools, each with constituent departments:
- Limerick School of Art & Design
- Department of Design
- Department of Fine Art
- Applied Science Engineering and Technology
- Department of Built Environment
- Department of Applied Science
- Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
- Department of Mechanical & Automobile Engineering
- Department of Information Technology
- Business & Humanities
- Department of Business
- Department of Food and Tourism
- Department of Applied Social Sciences
- Department of Sport
The Development Office works with the registrar and heads of school/department to address the widening participation agenda in the broadest sense from level 6 to level 10 as per the National Framework of Qualifications by piloting new initiatives and then assisting to mainstream these initiatives within LIT. The Development Office activity includes: enhancing R&D and Technology Transfer; managing relationships with second-level education providers; Lifelong Learning; and liaison with enterprise and employment development agencies in the midwest region.
Enterprise and researchEdit
One of LIT's attributes is its co-location of enterprise campuses with all of its education campuses.
The Enterprise Acceleration Centre (EAC) is an incubation facility for start-up companies, with particular emphasis on export and growth-focused businesses. The centre is located on the Moylish Park campus and is 1,350 m2 with 18 self-contained units. Client companies can rent office suites and avail of management development supports, including one-to-one business coaching, peer networking and research collaboration. The centre works with enterprise support agencies, including Enterprise Ireland and County & City Enterprise Boards and is a Microsoft BizSpark Network Partner.
LIT has a focus on sport with basketball, hurling and rugby being the most dominant. Most recently, LIT's men's basketball team won All Ireland Division 3 championship in 2016, and All Ireland Division 2 championship in 2019. The players of the man's basketball team are commonly referred to as 'Champs'. The institute senior hurling team captured the Fitzgibbon Cup in 2005 and 2007 and the senior rugby team captured the All-Ireland Colleges Championship in 1998, 1999 and 2005.
One of the largest sports clubs in the institute is the Outdoor Club. This was founded in 2001 and runs on the philosophy "alternative activities for all". It caters for all students, past and present interested in non-competitive activities such as hillwalking, orienteering, mountaineering, canoeing/kayaking, rock climbing, windsurfing, surfing, caving, sailing, and mountain biking.
LIT has a number of sports-related courses with programmes in strength and conditioning being run at its Thurles campus, in partnership with the online sports college Setanta College, and the Department of Humanities offers a level 8-degree in Business Studies with Sports Management.
The Millennium Theatre is located at Moylish Park and is host to a variety of live entertainment, concerts, recitals, drama, comedy and dance, with a capacity of 400. It also acts as a learning space for students in a number of disciplines, including music and sound production.
There are several student villages in LIT with the largest being Thomond and Cratloe Woods Student Village. Other accommodation includes Harriston Student Village.
- The Sunday Times University Guide 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- Owens, Alan, "LIT takes top award in University Guide", The Limerick Leader, 11 October 2012.] Retrieved on 14 January 2013.
- Tech Schools become pillars of education by Sharon Slater, Limerick Chronicle Historian, 28 May 2018.
- LIT President to step down in 2016, taking up new role as head of Glyndwr University in Wales www.shannonchamber.ie, 21 December 2015.
- Vincent Cunnane appointed as President of LIT Limerick Leader, 10 May 2016.
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