Munster Technological University bid lodged
Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) have submitted a formal application to become the Munster Technological University (MTU).
If it all goes according to plan, MTU will become the country's second technological university after TU Dublin, which was established in January.
The application has been sent to Education Minister Joe McHugh and the MTU consortium hopes it will pass through all necessary steps by the summer, allowing it to open in the next academic year under its new branding.
The Higher Education Authority (HEA) will now invite an independent expert international advisory panel to evaluate the application, including site visits to Cork and Tralee.
The HEA will consider the advisory panel's report and make a recommendation to the minister, who will take the final decision on designation.
To be considered for TU designation, institutes of technology are required to merge and meet certain criteria. Cork IT and IT Tralee have been working towards achieving the creation of MTU since 2013.
IT Tralee president Dr Oliver Murphy said the application was "a key landmark on our journey to designation as a TU. MTU will serve as a catalyst for the future development of the region."
Cork IT president Dr Barry O'Connor said resources and structures have been put in place to successfully deliver the programme of change required to make MTU a reality.
Two other consortia are also hoping to become technological universities, one involving Waterford IT and IT Calrow and the other involving Galway-Mayo, Letterkenny and Sligo institutes of technology.