Pre-specified nationally coordinated projects are projects addressing specific sectoral level priorities and activities. These projects are coordinated by the National Forum using relevant expertise and collaboration that is drawn from the entire education sector. Currently there are five such projects underway or planned.

These are:

Why they exist

Pre-specified nationally coordinated projects arise directly from national-level recommendations which have emerged from the National Forum’s consultation and research processes. They converge around projects that are in the national interest when it comes to teaching and learning enhancement in higher education. They very clearly focus on activities that are designed to avoid the duplication of effort at local level. Furthermore, they focus on activities that will give rise to resources or evidence that support institutional activities.

How they run

When a pre-specified nationally coordinated project has been identified it is brought to the National Forum board for approval. If approved, typically a scoping exercise will be conducted chaired by a relevant expert with inputs from expertise across the sector nominated by the IUA, IOT and HECA. The function of the scoping exercise is to identify in more detail the feasibility of progressing with the project and to generates a terms of reference document that will guide the project at implementation stage. The process for scoping National Forum pre-specified nationally-coordinated projects typically involves three meetings:

  • Meeting 1: An open discussion takes place regarding the broad purpose of the project, its context and its potential outcomes.
  • Meeting 2: A focused discussion takes place on which priorities should be selected from what has been suggested in the first meeting and how these might be addressed, according to the project timescale.
  • Meeting 3: The content of meetings 1 and 2 is distilled into terms of reference which are then used to guide the project manager in attempting to achieve the project outcomes.

If a project progresses to implementation, a project manager is seconded for the time frame of the project. The criteria for monitoring project implementation are value for money, national impact, focus on teaching and learning and the extent to which the terms of reference are being met.