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Maria Slowey Director of HERC Dublin City University Universities Association for Lifelong Learning Annual Conference Clare College University of Cambridge.

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Presentation on theme: "Maria Slowey Director of HERC Dublin City University Universities Association for Lifelong Learning Annual Conference Clare College University of Cambridge."— Presentation transcript:

1 Maria Slowey Director of HERC Dublin City University Universities Association for Lifelong Learning Annual Conference Clare College University of Cambridge March 2012 HE for the social good: Funding and policy developments in Ireland

2 A uasail agus a chairde. Is pléisiúr íontach é a bheith libh Mo bhuíochas go dtí UALL agus an tOllamh Mary Stuart. Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath

3 Shape of the system Policy environment and focus Interpretations of lifelong learning Example of strategic initiative relevant to LL Role of higher education- esp universities?

4 Higher education providers Universities (7) Institutes of technology (16?) Specialist colleges (education, music etc) Growing private sector

5 University of Ulster Queens University Belfast

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7 UNEMPLOYMENT BY LEVEL OF EDUCATION: Ireland

8 Maintaining (> enhancing) research and teaching quality Shape of the system Civic and regional engagement Partnership with public authorities, employers, NGOs Responding to lifelong learning agenda Resources Five current dominant issues for higher education in Ireland

9 National Strategy for Higher Education (2011) … the period of this strategy demands that Irelands higher education system become much more flexible in provision in both time and place, and that it facilitates transfer and progression through all levels of the system. There remain significant challenges in this area: successive reports have recognized the relatively poor performance of our system in the area of lifelong learning, while the requirement for upgrading and changing of employee skills and competencies is becoming ever greater.

10 … poor performance in lifelong learning and the inflexibility of higher education were among the strongest concerns to emerge through the consultations and the submissions received by the Strategy Group …

11 While there has been considerable expansion of higher education opportunities in recent years, this expansion has mainly been in the provision of full- time opportunities focused primarily on entrants from upper second-level education. Irish higher education students have the narrowest age-range across all OECD countries reflecting the current unresponsiveness of Irish higher education to the skills needs of adults in the population.

12 Changes to system funding and operation will be needed in order to: enable the institutions to respond to these needs by increasing the variety and diversity of their provision, and improvements in the interface between higher education and further education and training will be necessary to support enhanced progression opportunities. (DES 2011a:13)

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14 2002/32003/42004/52005/62006/72007/82008/9/10 PT (6176) Total (83132) Part-time undergraduate enrolments in universities in Ireland

15 Typology of lifelong learners in higher education (Slowey and Schuetze 2012) Second chance learners Equity groups Deferrers Recurrent learners Returners Refreshers Learners in later life

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17 DRHEA:

18 A University is a place where enquiry is pushed forward and discoveries perfected and verified, and rashness rendered innocuous and error exposed by the collision of mind with mind and knowledge with knowledge

19 Are the universities to be allowed, and will they seek the space, the capacity the community of scholarship, the quiet moments of reflection necessary to challenge, for example, paradigms of the connection between economy and society, ethics and morality, democratic discourse and authoritarian imposition that have failed…or, drawing on their best moments of disputation and discourse, offer alternatives…? President M.D.Higgins 25/1/2011

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21 Age of entry to IoTs

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23 The New Irish

24 Who owns Ireland economically and how does this impact on equality in education? Who defines Ireland culturally, who controls the definition of what is culturally, who controls the definition of what is culturally valuable in education and how does this impact on the higher education experiences of marginalised or subordinated groups? Who controls Ireland and who controls education, who has power and who does not have power in colleges and does it impact on learning? Who cares for Ireland, who does the caring work and how does this impact on access, participation and outcomes in higher education? Source: K.Lynch (2004) Neo-liberalism, marketisation and higher education: Equality considerations, Achieving equality of access to Higher Education, HEA Some Key Questions

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28 There is no obvious reason why the education and young and full-time people should be guaranteed whereas the education of disadvantaged adults should be discretionary and subject to the prevailing economic circumstances, except perhaps that it has always been so. If the new creed is lifelong learning, the entire rational for funding post-school education needs to be re- examined Source: Adapted from P. McGill and M. Morgan (2001) Irelands Learning Poor: Adult Educational Disadvantage and Cross-Border Co-operation, Armagh: The Centre for Cross Border Studies, pp.47-49


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