Section 9.1.1 National Context

Section 9.1.1 National Context

Section 9.1.1 National Context

Education has had a profound impact on the development of Ireland over recent decades, though the growing changes in educational provision, expectations, and requirements necessitate an evaluation of current practice.

More students are continuing education than ever before, with a 50% increase in the numbers entering Higher Education in the last decade (Higher Education Authority, 2009). There are new challenges, employment prospects, and expectations that HE has not traditionally experienced, and given the identification of education as an economic diver at both a national and institutional level (High-Level Group on International Education, 2010), there is a need to demonstrate excellence not only in research, but also in teaching, which is traditionally been more difficult to objectively quantify (Langbein, 2008).

Consequently, and in line with the call for institution-level feedback systems in the Bologna Declaration, one recommendation from the recent report of the National Strategy Group on Higher Education (2011) stated that:

“Higher Education institutions should put in place systems to capture feedback from students, and use this feedback to inform institutional and programme management” (p.50).

Accordingly, the introduction of summative SET to Irish (and all European) universities is an inevitable component of demonstrating commitment to teaching quality.

Activity 9.1.1

Which of the recommendations from the Hunt Report do you think will have the greatest impact on:

a) how you teach over the next decade?

b) the role of students in education over the next decade?

How does this fit in with Blackmoore’s (2009) and Arthur’s (2009) discussion of the changing nature of HE (Sections 6.1 and 6.4.4)?

Submit your answers


Hunt Report:

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