Teaching and Learning



National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning was launched by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, T.D., on 22nd November 2012. The National Forum is the key system-level infrastructure for the enhancement of teaching and learning in Irish higher education and for the implementation of the recommendations of the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 in this area. These recommendations include

  • providing all students with the highest quality teaching and learning experience;
  • integrating research with teaching and learning;
  • enhancing the first-year experience through the provision of more broad-based, interdisciplinary curricula;
  • enhancing the flexibility of programme-provision;
  • strengthening the focus on learning outcomes to ensure that all graduates acquire key competences.

The National Forum was established following a public consultation process, overseen by the HEA, to which 39 submissions were received from a range of stakeholders. The consultation document, the submissions received, syntheses of these submissions, and the implementation plan that was developed on the basis of these, are all accessible via the links below.

The membership of the Board of the National Forum is detailed in the table below.

ChairpersonProfessor Sarah MooreUniversity of Limerick
HEA / DES nomineesDr. Patrick GeogheganTrinity College Dublin
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
THEA nomineesMs. Jen HarveyDublin Institute of Technology
Dr. Martin FitzgeraldLimerick Institute of Technology
Dr. Joseph RyanTechnological Higher Education Association
IUA nomineesProf. Mark BrownDublin City University
Dr. Iain McClarenNational University of Ireland, Galway
Dr. Aidan MulkeenNational University of Ireland, Maynooth
QQI nomineeMs. Karena MaguireQuality and Qualifications Ireland
USI nomineeMr. Jack LeahyUnion of Students in Ireland
HECA nomineeMs. Naomi JacksonDublin Business School

Working in close partnership with the sector, the National Forum aims to enhance the quality of the learning-experience for all students in Irish higher education by

  • championing all those who contribute to excellent teaching and learning in higher education;
  • inspiring good practice by celebrating examples of teaching that have a strong and positive impact on learning;
  • developing teachers and students;
  • identifying and promoting ‘best practice’ in professional development;
  • building digital capacity;
  • promoting key ‘enhancement themes’;
  • enabling innovation in a fast-changing educational environment.

Full details of the work of the National Forum are available at http://teachingandlearning.ie.

TitleDateVenueTopicKeynote speakers
Re-casting the Sustainability Debate: Positioning Irish Higher Education as a Driver of Sustainable Social, Cultural and Economic Development30th May 2014George’s Hall, Dublin CastleThe role of higher education as a driver of the economy and its value for wider society.Professor Nancy Zimpher (State University of New York)
From Regional Clusters to Knowledge Hubs: Unlocking the Potential26th November 2014Davenport HotelMaximising the contribution of regional clusters of higher education institutions to social, cultural, and economic development.Professor John Goddard, O.B.E. (Newcastle University) and Professor Susan Christopherson (Cornell University)
International Trends in Research: What Does Ireland Need to Succeed?15th April 2015Davenport HotelThe role of research in higher education, and the evaluation of its quality and impact.Professor Sir Peter Scott (University College London), Dr. Martin Curley (Maynooth University and Intel), Professor Arie Rip (University of Twente), David Sweeney (HEFCE), and Dr. Jack B. Spaapen (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences)
Skills, Employability and the Post-Secondary Sector: What is the Role for Higher Education?11th November 2015St. Patrick’s College, DrumcondraThe role of higher education in responding to the demand for graduates, addressing skills shortages, and meeting societal and labour-market needs.Amy Laitenen (New America) and Professor Ewart Keep (University of Oxford)
‘Unbundling’ Educational Provision and Delivery Modes—What's Ahead?19th May 2016Camden Court HotelThe 'unbundling' of higher education in terms of innovation in programme-provision and delivery. Dr. Paul Le Blanc (Southern New Hampshire University), Professor Mark Brown (Dublin City University) and Golide Blumenstyk (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
'Private Providers: What Role Should They Play in the Irish Higher Education Landscape?'23rd November 2016St. Laurence's, DIT GrangegormanThe role that is and should be played by private providers of higher education in Ireland.Professor Pedro Nuno Teixeira (University of Porto), John Fielden (CHEMS Consulting) and Dr. Padraig Walsh (Quality and qualifications Ireland).