Representatives of higher education in the Czech Republic, including six universities, the Ministry of Education and the National Accreditation Bureau, is visiting Ireland this week to gain a better understanding of the Irish higher education system and share experiences and learnings. The visit, which was prompted by communications with the National Forum and an interest in role it plays within the higher education landscape, also involves meetings at a number of Irish higher education institutions, and national bodies such as Quality and Qualifications Ireland and the Irish Universities Association.
The 20 higher education representatives began their visit to Ireland by meeting the Director of the National Forum on 9 September. The meeting provided an opportunity to explore topics in which they had a particular interest, such as the relationship between the enhancement work of the National Forum and the quality assurance work happening at local and national level in Ireland, underpinned by frameworks such as the digital roadmap, the professional development framework for all those who teach and the disciplinary excellence in learning teaching and assessment (DELTA) framework. The National Forum’s ongoing endeavours to ensure student partnership and engagement underpins enhancement efforts at all levels was also a topic for discussion, as was the impact of the 48 teaching and learning enhancement projects that have been funded across the sector since 2014.
Located in the heart of Europe, the Czech republic has a strong tradition of pedagogical innovation and one of its most famous scholars, John Amos Comenius, is credited with originating the concept of lifelong learning in the 17th century. The Czech delegation voiced their intention to incorporate learnings from the visit to Ireland as they determine how to optimise national teaching and learning enhancement structures and quality assurance mechanisms in the Czech Republic over the coming years.