Reaching Out: Why Students Leave

This briefing paper reports on a research project established by the National Forum in partnership with the Union of Students in Ireland, which aimed to inform our understanding of why some students do not progress to the completion of their programmes of study in higher education and to determine how best to support students in their transitions into and through higher education. The study examined, through surveys and interviews, the motivations and experiences of 331 students who did not complete their programmes of study in higher education. The briefing paper adds to the growing evidence base about the challenges that students face in their transitions into and through higher education in Ireland.

Student Non-Completion on ICT Programmes

This report is based on findings from a National Forum-funded research project on student non-completion on ICT programmes led by a team based at the University of Limerick.

The Paper summarises international literature on student non-completion with a focus on students of ICT ; it outlines proven initiatives and pedagogic practices designed to tackle ICT student non-completion and it presents the results of exploratory case study research on ICT non-completion at the University of Limerick. It also includes further considerations arising specifically from the institutional case study as well as those arising more generally from the question of non-completion in the Irish context.

Transition from Further Education and Training to Higher Education

The first enhancement theme of the National Forum focused on transitions into and through higher education. Based on surveys and interviews with FET students, the research summarised in this insight begins to fill an important gap in our understanding of transitions, and it recognises the often substantially different experiences of those entering higher education from school, and those entering from the FET sector.

Teaching for Transitions: A Review of Teaching for Transitions Related Teaching and Learning Activity and Research

The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning commissioned this study of scholarship that focuses on ‘Teaching for Transitions’, with particular reference to higher education in Ireland. An international element was included to allow some benchmarking with national scholarship. The question ‘how can this scholarship be more impactful on the practice of teachers in the higher education sector?’ was a key question of interest in the project. Part 1 of the study is reported here. It sets out early results and insights and makes recommendations based on investigations carried out between January and June 2015. It raises questions for further investigation.

A Current Overview of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in Irish Higher Education

This report details an exploration of the current practice relating to the recognition of prior learning in Irish higher education. The research includes a review of the published policies of higher education institutions, their public-facing information as well as an analysis of the details of the mission-based performance compacts outlining goals and objectives for higher education institutions from 2014 to 2016.

In-depth interviews with practitioners in higher education institutions were conducted to explore the implementation of RPL in practice. An exploration of processes relating to identification, evidencing, assessment, and recognition of experiential learning by selected employer professional bodies was undertaken.