The National Forum is delighted to welcome to the team two new Student Associate Interns, Rachel Dunne and Amelia McConville. The Student Associate Internship initiative, launched in 2018 by the patron of the National Forum, Mary McAleese, builds on the long-standing partnership between the National Forum and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). The USI, and the body of students it represents, have always been active, engaged partners in all developments across the National Forum workplan. Through this initiative students from across the sector have an opportunity to spend up to six months working within the National Forum to help enhance and develop its partnership approach, ensuring that students continue to play a central role in shaping the future landscape of teaching and learning in Irish higher education.
Reflecting on her new role, Amelia, who is currently conducting interdisciplinary PhD research on contemporary poetry studies and neurohumanities at Trinity College Dublin, commented ‘I am excited to draw on my experience as an undergraduate, employee, and postgraduate at a university to contribute to this internship with the National Forum. I am particularly excited to help with the key strategic priorities of professional development and teaching and learning enhancement within and across disciplines’.
Rachel, who graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree from Mary Immaculate College in 2018, is also very happy to begin her new role: ‘I am so delighted to have the opportunity to undertake this internship. I have a huge interest in the area of education, and teaching and learning, and I am also very passionate about enhancing and improving students’ higher education experiences. I gained a huge amount from my time with Mary I Students’ Union last year, and I hope to transfer all of the knowledge, skills, and experience that I gained from my role as President into my internship. I am particularly excited to work on the National Forum’s key strategic priority of student success.
USI’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, Kevin McStravock, added: “USI are delighted to continue to support the Student Associate Internship initiative, in partnership with the National Forum. This initiative clearly demonstrates the power and significance of student partnership in higher education nationally. Rachel and Amelia will play an integral role in embedding the student voice in all areas of the National Forum’s work, and I wish them every success for the duration of their internships.”