Enabling student success is a key strategic priority of the National Forum. The National Forum understands student success as more than access, progression and completion rates. Helping students to achieve success and attain a quality educational experience is the responsibility of everyone in higher education.

In November 2019, the National Forum was delighted to launch Ireland’s national understanding of student success, compiled in collaboration with a range of sectoral representatives. The shared understanding is as follows:

Student success optimises the learning and development opportunities for each student to recognise and fulfil their potential to contribute to, and flourish in, society.

To be achieved, this requires a culture in Irish higher education that values inclusivity, equity and meaningful engagement between students, staff, their institutions and the wider community.

Since 2013, the National Forum has been engaged in considerable work related to enabling student success. A sectoral focus on teaching for transitions (2013-2015) provided key insights on how transition periods can be successfully supported in higher education. The National Forum facilitated conversations exploring assessment OF/FOR/AS learning and developed nationally recognised principles of assessment (2016-2018). These principles support innovative, engaging, collaborative, learner-oriented and integrated approaches to assessment that take account of the complex dynamics and requirements of higher education.

The focus of the National Forum’s work to December 2021 is on building sectoral understanding of what constitutes student success in different contexts and at different stages. The Forum will also identify and share best practice and support the use of learning analytics, survey data, pilot projects, and a range of partnerships to enable student success.