Invitation for Expressions of Interest: Open Courses Development and Delivery 2023-2024

20 December 2023: Minister Simon Harris Announces new upskilling courses for staff in Higher Education. Read More.

31 October 2023: Call for Expressions of Interest – Applications Window Closed

Open Courses ( – a strategic initiative for professional development in higher education – is a programme facilitated by the Higher Education Authority and the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in partnership with higher education institutions and organisations across Ireland. This initiative aims to drive innovation and enhance teaching and learning across the higher education sector.

Launched in 2017, Open Courses offers flexible, non-accredited professional development opportunities that align with the National Professional Development Framework for all Staff who Teach in Higher Education. To date, the initiative has issued over 5,000 professional development digital badges and trained over 600 facilitators across various Open Course opportunities.

Interested parties are invited to submit proposals for the development, delivery, and facilitator training of Open Courses. With a funding allocation of up to €20,000 per successful proposal, the focus for this call is on courses that align with national strategic priorities in teaching and learning, incorporate the latest developments in their respective areas, and reach a wide national audience, including the training of future facilitators.

Expressions of interest are welcomed in the following areas:

  1. New Open Course Development: Develop and deliver a new Open Course that aligns with the national professional development framework for higher education, as well as national strategic priorities in the area of teaching and learning.
  2. Updating Existing Open Courses: Update and deliver current Open Courses to reflect the latest developments in the area of teaching and learning. This includes substantial improvements or developments that enhance course content, delivery, or relevance.
  3. Large Scale Course Delivery: Deliver current Open Courses to a large national audience, coordinating networks of regional or institutional facilitators supporting cohorts of participants for a scaled-up rollout.

Open Courses should appeal to a broad audience and encourage enrolment across the sector. This ensures a diverse learning environment and promotes a wide dissemination of knowledge and skills. Cross institutional collaboration between higher education institutions is particularly encouraged. In keeping with the open and shared approach taken by the National Forum to date, the inclusion of participants from the private higher education and further education sectors is also encouraged.

Each proposal should ensure the course is developed for all three delivery modes (online, face-to-face/blended, and self-study), ensuring accessibility and flexibility for future participants, unless there is a specific justification agreed with the National Forum. However, it is important to note that the delivery component of open courses funded through this call is expected to be facilitator-led and conducted entirely online. Those considering submission are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the development guide provided in this call to inform their application.

Key Dates

Expression of Interest (EOI) launched September 2023
Deadline for submission of EOIs 31 October 2023
Initial Screening, Eligibility Check, Evaluation and Panel Review November 2023
Final Approval and Notification of Outcome 08 December 2023
Course Development From January 2024
Spring or Autumn Rollout of Open Courses April – May 2024, September – December 2024


All queries relating to this expressions of interest call should be forwarded to