The CEO of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Dr Alan Wall, has welcomed the establishment of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (National Forum) and a new Teaching and Learning Committee under the auspices of the HEA. This National Forum Teaching and Learning Committee will advise the HEA Board on the development and impact of teaching and learning enhancement in Irish higher education.
The establishment of the National Forum under the HEA completes the implementation of recommendations following a 2019 review of the work of the interim National Forum which operated independently of the HEA to advise and support higher education institutions on teaching and learning development and practice.
Under the HEA, the National Forum is established on a sustainable basis and will build on past work and advise the HEA and higher education sector on the enhancement of teaching and learning. The National Forum will continue to support individual, institutional and sectoral change through policy advice and funding support instruments.
The work of the National Forum will be student-centred, evidence-based, inclusive, responsive and consultative, as well as internationally oriented and relevant to students and staff, irrespective of institution type.
The National Forum, advised by the National Forum Teaching and Learning Committee chaired by Dr Lynn Ramsey, will be academically led, made up of representatives of the broad spectrum of stakeholders in Irish higher education, including students, academics, senior managers, policy makers and representative bodies.
Over the course of 2022, the National Forum will develop a new strategy to reflect the enhanced position of teaching and learning on the national higher education landscape and its importance to the work and mandate of the Higher Education Authority.
The National Forum uses funding instruments to drive teaching and learning enhancement in Irish higher education through the National Seminar Series, Conference Supports, and a targeted fund for the Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement in Irish higher education. Current initiatives also include professional development open courses, supports for the implementation of the student success toolkit, sharing of open education resources through the National Resource Hub and awards for Teaching and Learning Research Fellowships, Disciplinary Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Assessment (DELTA) and Teaching Heroes.
Updates on these initiatives along with a range of nationally relevant resources such as insights and guides, frameworks, policy papers and surveys are also available at teachingandlearning.ie.
The CEO of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Dr Alan Wall said:
“I am grateful to the National Forum’s Chairperson, Dr Lynn Ramsey, and her Board, for the work they have done to progress the strategic development of teaching and learning in Ireland and to progress the Forum under the auspices of the HEA. I am also particularly cognisant of the work of past contributors to the Forum, such as Professor Sarah Moore, its first Chair, and Dr Terry Maguire, its first Director, who retired in 2021, Dr Joseph Ryan and Professor Philip Winn who acted as Chair and Director respectively during a short interim period, the former National Forum executive and National Forum Associates which comprised of teaching and learning experts from across the sector. Many have brought a wealth of experience, vision and commitment to collaboration to the Forum to bring it to this point and we in the HEA look forward to building on that vision and the centrality of teaching and learning to higher education in Ireland.”