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Professor Vincent Cunnane announced as President of Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest

Posted on: 31 Aug 2021

Professor Vincent Cunnane announced as President of Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest

The Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) welcomes the announcement today, 31 August, of the new President of Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest.

Statement from Dr Joseph Ryan, CEO, THEA, on behalf of the Presidents of the technological higher education institutions

On behalf of our members, we extend our congratulations to our colleague Professor Vincent Cunnane on his appointment as President of TU of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest. 

It is particularly gratifying to see a President of an Institute of Technology succeed to this critical role.  Professor Cunnane has been President of LIT since 2016, following an earlier stint as President of IT Sligo and is a staunch supporter and enabler of the technological sector and the distinctive characteristics that set it apart from traditional universities.

The TURN report recognised those characteristics: their provision of the overwhelming majority of Level 6 and 7 programmes in higher education; their provision of apprenticeship, parttime, full-time, campus- and work- based modes of learning; their role in key STEM disciplines; their enrolment of a diverse student base; and their close links with industry and other employers; and the critical focus of the creative arts within this sector.  The technological university concept is built on the success of the Institutes of Technology in embodying these characteristics and will retain that distinction as they evolve to meet the demands and opportunities of the future world of work.

Under the guidance of Professor Cunnane, our newest Technological University will build on the achievements to date of both AIT and LIT to enhance human capital in the economy and build on the diversity and success of the Irish higher education system.  It will be distinctive in its rootedness in its local communities and economies and will bring a new beginning to the Shannon, midlands, and midwest regions.  The goal in establishing Technological Universities as set out in the TURN report, is to intensify the mission, purpose and values of Institutes of Technology to achieve sufficient scale, quality, and impact to drive regional economic, social and cultural development. 

On behalf of colleagues, I pay a warm tribute to the outgoing President of AIT, Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, and thank him for his contribution and that of his senior staff in helping form this new university.  We look forward to working with Professor Cunnane and have full confidence in his ability to unite and enhance the capacity, capabilities, and achievements of these fine institutions to achieve this goal.  We wish him every success in his new role.


For further information, please contact:
Róisín O’Connell, Head of Communications, THEA: (087) 9193333; roisin.oconnell@thea.ie

Notes to Editors

TURN Report: The TU Research Network (TURN) was established in February 2019, by the Department of Education and Skills, to examine and report on how emerging TUs could achieve their sectoral and national strategic objectives and the supports that would be required for them to do so most effectively and efficiently. The full text of the TURN report is available here:



The Technological Higher Education Association is the representative advocacy body for the technological higher education institutions in Ireland.

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