PLANS for a Munster technological university have suffered a setback after a decision by Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) to opt out of the group seeking a higher status.
Limerick IT, Cork IT and IT Tralee recently announced plans to come together and bid for promotion to a technological university (TU).
But Limerick IT has now decided to concentrate on an existing collaboration known as the Shannon Consortium, involving the University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate teacher training college and IT Tralee.
A technological university has been mooted as part of plans to reform and modernise the higher education landscape in Ireland.
A key element of the reform is collaboration between institutes of technology, with a view to pooling expertise and resources.
Some collaborations may eventually be upgraded to technological university status, while others are intended to form regional clusters under a common administrative structure.
Most institutes of technology have become involved in one of a number of groups making a bid for the new TU status, and two are regarded as front-runners.
One involves Waterford IT and Carlow IT, proposing a technological university for the South East, and another in the capital is led by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).