AIT and LIT are due to complete a transition to Technological University status.
The development of a Technological University in the midlands could see extended benefits for Offaly.
Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris is open to creating an outreach centre in the county as part of the project.
The merger between Athlone Institute of Technology and their counterparts in Limerick is at an advanced stage.
Laois/Offaly Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen says the demise of Bord Na Mona has increased the need for new educational avenues in the region: