Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2021
Professor Kerstin Mey was appointed President of University of Limerick on 8 October 2021, following an open competition and subsequent approval from the university’s Governing Authority. Prior to that, she had served as Interim President at UL from 1 September 2020. She is also a former Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Engagement.
The Tertiary Education Landscape
This article offers an overview of tertiary education in Ireland from a contemporary governmental perspective. It sets out the department’s strategic vision, the legislative picture, the development of technological universities, and the broader landscape of further and higher education in the country.
Secretary General at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
A Changing Landscape for Higher Education
This article reflects on the emergence of technological universities in Ireland and the significant changes in the higher-education landscape in 2021. It considers the distinctive role that the sector will play in the years ahead, the strengths resulting from its capacity for collaboration, and some of the challenges that it faces.
Dr Joseph Ryan
CEO of Technological Higher Education Association
Nurse Education Over the Years
Reflecting on the past and meeting the challenges of the future
This article reflects on how nurse education moved away from the traditional ‘hospital-based’ schools of nursing to a system of universal degree-level education for all nurses in higher education.
Prof Imelda Coyne
Professor in Children’s Nursing and Co-Director of the Trinity Research in Childhood Centre, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin
The First-Year University Experience During a Pandemic
The transition to higher education changed dramatically for the class of 2020. Researchers at Maynooth University studied the first-year undergraduate experience in this challenging time. This article reports on several important insights from the student responses. The pandemic has dramatically changed these students’ introduction to and experience of higher education, both academically and socially. The findings presented here offer insights relevant to all higher-education settings.
Associate Professor, Maynooth University Departments of Sociology and Education
Assessment Choices Post-Covid-19
How Covid-19 challenged and changed assessment – perhaps permanently
Covid-19 required higher education institutions to change their assessment practices, particularly in relation to summative, time-constrained, closed-book examinations. With various alternative assessment approaches having been used successfully during the pandemic, the question now is whether to return to pre-pandemic assessment practices or to continue to embrace and develop the changes introduced. We have the opportunity and responsibility to choose well.
Dr Tomás Mac Eochagáin
Director of Academic Programmes, Griffith College
Women Leaders in Irish Higher Education
Reflections on recent progress and the challenges of sustaining it
This short article reflects on recent and current women leaders in Irish higher education, as we mark the end of the first year in post of the first woman president of an Irish university and the coming into post this year of three more. It also flags some of the challenges yet to be met and the vigilance required to maintain the progress made on gender equality in the sector over the past several years.
Prof Anne Scott
Former Vice President for Equality and Diversity, NUI Galway (retired)
Enhancing the Recognition of Prior Learning in Higher Education – Why and How?
Making the case for RPL as a powerful resource for Irish higher education
This article provides an overview and summary analysis of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in higher education (HE) in Ireland to date. It introduces the new National RPL in HE Project, whose vision is to make RPL an integral part of HE. It looks at why RPL is important for Irish higher education, and what actions are being planned to embed it systemically. RPL is a powerful resource that supports HE to progress a range of strategic objectives and makes access to lifelong learning a reality for many.
Project Manager, National Recognition of Prior Learning in Higher Education Project
Education and Training Specialist
Micro-credentials Untethered: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
Micro-credentials are the latest shiny new thing attracting educators’ increasing attention. Indeed, 2021 may become known as the year of micro-credentials. On the surface, the micro-credentialling movement offers great promise in helping to redesign and even reimagine more future-fit and complementary credential frameworks to enhance employability, continuous professional development, and the goal of a thriving learning society. But is there a danger that the micro-credential may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning, Dublin City University
Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl
Director of Micro-credential Strategy and Innovation, Dublin City University
Reflections on University Governance in Ireland
Navigating the accountability–autonomy continuum and the changing role of the university
This article looks at the interplay between accountability and autonomy in university governance, and how this tension impacts on the management of universities and on the academic voice in the university and in public discourse.
Former Professor of Education, Maynooth University
Ireland’s University Presidents 2022
The appointment in December 2021 of Prof Mark Rogers as the interim president of University College Dublin saw six university presidents appointed in the 2021 calendar year.
With pending appointments of two more in 2022 – to lead the recently established Technological University South-East Ireland (TUSEI), and Connacht Ulster Alliance (CUA) – we will have eight new leaders in our university sector.
Read the biographical details of all university presidents.