It was announced today (Friday) that Athlone IT has received a major accolade from The Sunday Times.
The local Institute was named as the newspaper's 'Institute of Technology of the Year' for 2018.
In an online video announcing the news, AIT President Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin expressed his pride in the achievement.
"This is a great accolade and it reflects really well on AIT, its staff and its students. Our staff have worked enormously hard over the last 50 years to make AIT what it is today."
Full coverage of the awards will be published in 'The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018' - a 16-page supplement which will be included with the newspaper this weekend.
The Sunday Times said AIT's strength "comes from identifying areas of skills shortage and working with businesses to improve links between enterprise and academia."
Local Minister of State Kevin 'Boxer' Moran congratulated AIT on the honour, saying: “The Institute has also moved up the national rankings of all Universities and Institutes from tenth position last year to eighth position this year, which is a major achievement,” said Minister Moran.
"I would like to sincerely congratulate Director Ciarán Ó Catháin, academic and support staff, and students on the announcement," said Minister Moran.
"The Institute remains an outstanding example of a progressive third level institute that is keen to develop further.
"Over the 50 years of Athlone IT, the Institute has always sought to reach academic excellence and today’s award is due recognition of this," he said.
The University of the year award went to NUI Galway, where the President is Dr Jim Browne, a native of Athlone.
Here is the AIT video announcing the award today: