The Minister of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Mr Simon Harris, T.D., has announced a €5 million national teaching and learning call designed to drive teaching and learning innovation and enhancement across the higher education sector.
The call is being published by the National Forum, in partnership with the Higher Education Authority, and it signals a significant commitment to the enhancement of teaching and learning in Irish higher education.
Transforming Teaching and Learning for Student Success is the strategic focus of this non-competitive call. This Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement (SATLE) funding call complements and supports previous Government investments made in this area under the Innovation and Transformation Fund 2018, the annual Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund since 2014, the 2019 SATLE Fund and Pillar 3 of the 2020 Human Capital Initiative.
This funding call is designed to form a coherent basis to drive teaching and learning innovation and enhancement across the higher education sector, bringing together teaching and learning expertise, institutional priorities and dedicated funding through the recurrent grant allocation, to support strategic alignment.
The current national higher education strategy, the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, sets out teaching and learning as the first of three interconnected core roles of higher education. Enhanced teaching and learning is fundamental to the achievement of objectives across key national policies related to employability, internationalisation, innovation, and equality of opportunity.
Speaking at the announcement, the Minister said: “This funding call has been issued in response to COVID-19’s ongoing impact on the higher education sector. In March 2020 when our colleges closed their doors, the sudden move to online and remote education brought great challenges. However, our higher education institutions rose to that challenge and brought about significant improvements to their students’ education. Today, we want to take that innovation and build on it. So we want to hear from you about how we can all learn to strengthen the student success across face-to-face, blended, online and remote teaching and learning contexts. Through this fund we will learn and grow for the success of all our students.”
National Forum Director, Dr Terry Maguire said:
“The National Forum, in partnership with the HEA, looks forward to collaborating with institutions as they optimise the potential of this fund. This call represents an opportunity to support the higher education community to consolidate any positive disruptions to process and practice that may have occurred in 2020, with a view to enhancing efforts towards holistic approaches to enabling student success. The pandemic has taught us how quickly circumstances can change and the need for those who teach and those who learn to be confident in their knowledge and skills and supported in adapting their abilities to a variety of circumstances. Through this €5m fund, the sector will be empowered to take a strategic and cooperative step forward with respect to enabling the success of all students.”
Dr Alan Wall, CEO of the Higher Education Authority said:
“The HEA, in partnership with the National Forum, welcomes this funding call which will encourage closer alignment of student success institutional priorities, national strategies and policy imperatives.”
The call for funding can be accessed here.