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22 November, 2012 - Minister Quinn announces National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at Third Level

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., has today announced the establishment of a National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at third level.

The National Forum will have a central focus on enhancing the quality of the learning experience for all students, be they full-time, part-time or flexible learners.  It will have a vital role to play in supporting excellence in teaching and learning across all higher education institutions.  These goals are in line with key objectives outlined on teaching and learning in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 or Hunt report. 

Addressing the heads of Higher Education institutions at a conference in the Department in Dublin this morning, Minister Quinn said, “The focus of the Forum will be to provide a platform for the support of implementing the best practices in teaching and learning that are already underway in many of our institutions.  We now want to scale up this good work so that across the higher education sector we enhance teaching and improve learning for all.”

The National Forum will be made up of representatives from Higher Education Institutions, the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and the Union of Students of Ireland (USI).

Tom Boland, Chief Executive of the HEA, said, “We are confident that the Forum will transform the quality and accessibility of academic professional development and in the scholarship of teaching and learning.  In turn, this will enhance the student experience in Irish higher education.”

Professor Sarah Moore, Associate Vice President Academic at the University of Limerick, will chair the Forum.  She said, “I'm delighted and honoured to accept this role and see it as an opportunity to help integrate and shape teaching and learning in Irish higher education at a crucial time.”

The National Forum will strive towards ensuring that all students have the best environment in which to learn and academics have the tools to provide excellence in teaching. 

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

Sarah Moore is the Associate Vice President Academic at the University of Limerick. She is responsible for the continued development of teaching and learning strategies at the University of Limerick. Her research interests include Learning orientations and environments in work and education, gender in education, cognitive style, student retention in third level environments, professional development in academia, teaching innovation and diversity awareness and management.

The National Strategy for Higher Education identifies key objectives for the advancement of the teaching mission. This includes providing all students with the highest quality teaching and learning experience; integrating research with teaching and learning; enhancing the first-year experience of students through the provision of more broad-based, interdisciplinary curricula; enhancing the flexibility of programme provision and strengthening the focus on learning outcomes to ensure that all graduates acquire the key transferable skills and core competences that the economy and society of the 21st century demand.