With the closure of campuses in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, the universities responded rapidly to ensure the continuity of provision and that supports were in place for staff and students. This continuity, including the emergency shift to remote teaching and assessment, was achieved with significant effort from teaching, research, service and support staff, also working remotely in extraordinary circumstances. You can hear directly from staff and students about their experiences during this time in our Higher Education in Isolation Vlog Series.
Academic planning for 2020/21 is ongoing on the basis of a blended learning/ hybrid approach. Our universities will continue to place a priority on the health and safety of our staff and students, while ensuring that the quality of programmes is underpinned to deliver the best student experience possible. The IUA Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning project, funded through the HEA’s Innovation and Transformation Programme, supports the mainstreaming of digital in teaching and learning activities in our universities by addressing the professional development of all who teach or support teaching and learning. Visit the EDTL website for more information.
University staff have a diverse range of experience, skills and talents and consistently demonstrate their drive for quality through teaching, research, community engagement and unparalleled commitment to student success. During the past decade, university academic and administrative staff have, despite the effects of underinvestment, succeeded in maintaining quality teaching and research standards.
Over the next decade, universities are committed to a renewed focus on attracting, developing and engaging talent across the full spectrum of university activity. This includes mentoring and supporting the next generation of academic leaders across the universities to identify and nurture talent.
This also includes a commitment in ‘A Charter for Irish Universities’ to a sustained programme of staff development to build capacity for future education needs. This includes prioritising the implementation of a Professional Development Framework for university staff as part of the next phase of work of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.
Please click on the university links below to find out more about staff development activities already underway:
Irish universities will continue to invest heavily in digital learning and lead other innovations in how third level education is delivered in the years ahead, including additional resources into staff development. The rapidly changing methods of learning and teaching will accelerate further in the coming decade. Universities recognise the need to embrace the new learning environment, to act as leaders in the digital transformation of the learning and teaching process, and to provide the necessary systems and infrastructure for the increasingly digital and flexible learning environment. In ‘A Charter for Irish Universities’ [HYPERLINK], the universities have committed to developing a coherent national programme in digital learning in partnership with government.
As part of this, the universities are committed to a system-wide project to drive digital transformation in learning and teaching across all activities in universities.