The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, in partnership with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), is currently looking to recruit a full-time, paid Student Associate Intern for 2020/2021. This 12-month internship will be from 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021. However, the National Forum will aim to be as flexible as possible in relation to official start and finish dates.

This is a full-time position, involving 37 hours per week, with a salary of circa €26k.

The National Forum is based in Dublin and there may be a need to travel regularly within Ireland for meetings, updates and institutional visits. It may be possible for the incumbent to work from their existing location but they will be required in the National Forum offices, c/o 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 for at least two days per week. Travel and remote working arrangements can be discussed upon appointment. All travel associated with the internship will be covered by the National Forum. The National Forum will aim to be as flexible as possible in relation to working arrangements.

The Student Associate Intern will help to enhance and develop a partnership approach to ensure that students continue to play a central role in shaping the future landscape of teaching and learning in Irish higher education.

This is an excellent opportunity for the right candidate to expand their understanding of teaching and learning enhancement in Irish higher education and the direct impact its future development will have on students and the student experience. Working alongside the rest of the National Forum team, USI, student representatives and other sector bodies, the successful applicant will play a key role in enhancing student engagement within the National Forum’s work and communications.

The Role

This internship will be of interest to those with a keen interest in teaching and learning enhancement and the successful candidate should be familiar with the work of the National Forum.

The role will involve working with the National Forum team to support and guide the achievement of the National Forum strategic objectives 2019-2021, including playing a key role in:

  • consulting with students to ensure that the National Forum strategy builds on a strong evidence base. This may be carried out through institution visits, focus groups and liaising with Students’ Unions.
  • championing initiatives that will support teaching and learning enhancement from a student perspective.
  • co-ordinating the National Forum’s Student Panel, which will involve delegating reviews and events to its members.
  • taking a lead role in reviewing and subsequently rolling out the student-led National Teaching Hero Awards, in partnership with USI and other Students’ Unions
  • liaising with USI and other Students’ Unions, QQI, AHEAD and the HEA on agreed partnership activities.
  • developing a communication plan to communicate the work of the National Forum to students.


To be eligible to apply for this post the candidate must:

  • be enrolled as a current student in an Irish Higher Education Institution (HEI) (undergraduate or postgraduate)


  • be a recent graduate (within the least 12 months) of an Irish HEI


  • have held a student representative role with the USI or other Students’ Union within the last year.

The candidate should also aim to satisfy the following DESIRABLE criteria:

  • A demonstrable strong interest in teaching and learning enhancement in Irish higher education.
  • An excellent knowledge of the work of the National Forum
  • An ability to commit to working fulltime with the National Forum and (if living outside Dublin) spending at least two days per week in the National Forum offices in Dublin (For those outside Dublin, travel costs will be paid by the National Forum.)
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with both students and management in higher education (Please note: written and presentation skills may be subject to a specific assessment as part of the selection process.)
  • Good organisational skills and the ability to work on their own initiative
  • Experience of research and research methods
  • Demonstrable leadership skills
  • The ability to work with a small dynamic team

To apply for this position, please send:

  • An up to date Curriculum Vitae
  • A personal statement (not more than 350 words) clearly outlining what you feel you can contribute to the work of the National Forum and how this internship would support your own personal and professional development
  • A brief cover letter

Closing Date: 5pm on Thursday 26 March 2020. No late applications will be considered.

All applications should be sent by email to with subject line Student Associate Intern Application.


The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is an academically-led national advisory body for higher education. The National Forum works in partnership with Irish higher education through its representative bodies (USI, IUA, THEA, HECA), the HEA, QQI, DES, and the wider student, academic and professional services communities, to enhance teaching and learning for real impact on the learning experiences and outcomes of students.

The National Forum has identified four strategic priorities to December 2021:

The Professional Development of All Those Who Teach

Promoting evidence-based, flexible, inclusive professional development for all those who teach, reflecting the contextual needs and drivers within and across higher education institutions

Teaching and Learning in a Digital World

Supporting those who learn, teach, and support learning to embrace and harness the potential of digital technologies with the goal of enhancing learning, teaching, and overall digital capability

Teaching and Learning Enhancement Within and Across Disciplines

Recognising that disciplines are a key unit of change in higher education, with a focus on disciplinary excellence in learning, teaching and assessment

Student Success

Developing a vision of success, in partnership with students, with the aim of providing all students with the opportunity to fulfil their potential and become creators of new knowledge who are community engaged, ethically conscious, professionally competent and equipped to flourish in a global world


The Union of Students in Ireland (Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn) is the national representative body for third-level Students’ Unions in Ireland. Founded in 1959, USI now represents more than 374,000 students in Further and Higher Education Colleges across the island of Ireland. The goal of USI is to work for the rights of students and a fair and equal post-secondary education system in Ireland.

USI is a full member of the European Students’ Union (ESU) which represents students from 46 National Students’ Unions in 39 countries, and a member of Eurodoc, the European Council for Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers.

USI works with agencies and partners across third level to protect, enhance, and widen access to education, including Quality and Qualifications Ireland, the Higher Education Authority,, and the National Forum.


As part of this internship, the successful candidate will also be working with the non-USI affiliated Students’ Unions which currently consists of the Students’ Unions in the following institutions: CCT College, Dublin Business School, Griffith College, Hibernia College, Mary Immaculate College, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, University College Dublin and University of Limerick.