October has provided a number of opportunities for the Irish approach to teaching and learning enhancement to be shared with colleagues internationally. Today, 27 October, the National Forum has been invited to set the scene for a session entitled ‘Higher education: Strengthening capacity of response in a context of ongoing disruption’ during the OECD’s Education Policy Reform Dialogues 2020 event. The National Forum was asked to begin the session with a discussion of its recent briefing paper, ‘Reflecting and Learning: The move to remote/online teaching and learning in Irish higher education’, which explored the experiences and learnings of students, staff and leaders from across Ireland following the shift to online/remote learning in March.
The Education Policy Reform Dialogues are the leading OECD forum on education policy. They nurture a learning community of senior education policymakers from OECD and non-OECD countries around the design, development and effective implementation, consolidation and monitoring of education policies. Typically, participants include senior civil servants within governments who have a broad overview of education planning, policy and strategy.
This contribution to the OECD event follows a number of invitations received earlier this month to share how Ireland is working towards the vision of a valued and informed teaching and learning culture in Irish higher education:
- On 14 October, the National Forum, along with other sectoral bodies, participated in an ASEM Lifelong Learning Hub event involving a showcase highlighting excellence in Irish higher education. The National Forum contribution to the showcase demonstrated the remarkable efforts of the sector over recent years in building collaboration, coherence and confidence in teaching and learning for the benefit of all. The ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) is an intergovernmental process established in 1996 to foster dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe. The ASEM comprises 53 partners: 30 European and 21 Asian countries, the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat.
- Also on 14 October, the National Forum presented its national approach to enhancement to representatives from across Europe and beyond in an event convened by the CREATES Erasmus+ project team, representing universities in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, the UK and France. A key output of this policy project was a briefing paper which presents a number of policy recommendations that policy makers might consider implementing in order to encourage higher education institutions to adopt co-creative learning practices. Among the recommendations from the group is that countries across Europe each consider establishing a body modelled on the National Forum.
- On 21 October, the Director of the National Forum provided a guest presentation during the Quality Day of the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal, focused on enhancing teaching and learning in higher education. As a research-intensive University, NOVA was particularly interested to hear about the linkages between teaching and research and the evidence base Ireland has built in the area of teaching and learning enhancement.
Collaboration with international colleagues is a highly valued aspect of the work of the National Forum are we are delighted to have opportunities to represent the Irish higher education community, sharing the wonderful work being done every day across the sector and informing policy and practice at home and abroad.