“A Student is a Student is a Student” Position Paper on Part-Time/ Flexible Study in Irish Higher Education

The IUA Part-Time/ Flexible Subgroup is composed of University and Institute of Technology representatives and other key stakeholders, to examine prevailing issues associated with part-time/ flexible higher education, and propose a set of principles to inform the development of a more coherent, systematic and viable approach. The resulting Position Paper – “A Student is a Student is a Student” – was endorsed through a sectoral consultation process across Irish higher education and by the IUA and THEA Registrars/ Vice-Presidents Academic Groups.

It is agreed that a reimagining of the system, rather than tweaking, is necessary in order to respond to current and future demand, and to fulfil national and European ambitions on lifelong learning and up/re-skilling. The creation of viable part-time/ flexible study policies and practices would open up opportunities for a broad range of students who could benefit from more responsive higher education provision. The Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3 Multi-campus Micro-credentials project will help to accelerate this process.

IUA Part-Time/ Flexible Subgroup Members
  • Anna Kelly, UCD Access & Lifelong Learning, UCD (Chair)
  • Anton Barrett, Head of Lifelong Learning, DkIT
  • Joseph Collins, Head of Faculty Lifelong Learning, IT Carlow
  • Aisling Cusack, VP Equality, USI
  • Bairbre Fleming, Deputy Director, Access and Lifelong Learning, UCD
  • Oisín Hassan, VP Academic Affairs, USI
  • Billy Kelly, Deputy Registrar/Dean of Teaching & Learning, DCU
  • Terry Maguire, Director, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (NFETL)
  • Claire McGee, Head of Education and Innovation Policy, Ibec
  • Joe O’Grady, General Manager, CAO
  • MacDaragh Stapleton, CAO
  • Tom O’Mara, Head of Digital Education, UCC
  • Lewis Purser, Director of Academic Affairs, IUA
  • Nora Trench Bowles, Head of Lifelong Learning, Skills and Quality, IUA
  • Colm Downes, Access Programme Manager, IUA