The University of Limerick has launched a new teaching, learning and assessment strategy underpinned by a deep commitment to the principle that students should be actively and deeply involved in their own education. Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, officially launched ‘Engaged Learning: Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy” at the University today.
Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD said: “I am delighted to launch this new teaching and learning strategy. UL’s approach shows that they have engaged with what learners and employers want, and adapted their services to meet these demands. I am confident that both students and employers will benefit greatly from this strategy.”
The new ‘Engaged Learning’ strategy, which contains three broad approaches, engagement through broadening, engagement for excellence and engagement towards employability, will mean changes at the University including:
- the development of broader programme entry structures
- broadening module options for students - allowing cross-faculty elective modules
- developing programme delivery methods including part-time, blended and e-learning modalities
- greater emphasis on learning outcomes that stimulate innovation in student learning
- the provision of greater learning opportunities overseas for UL students
- biennial surveying of employers on the work readiness of graduates and their ability to continue to learn
- the promotion of innovations in assessment
- development of UL’s part-time, blended, distance and e-learning offerings tailored to industry needs and delivered flexibly for work-based learning, retraining and upskilling
- to align undergraduate programme content more closely with employer needs.
Speaking from the Launch, Professor Don Barry, UL President said “Research shows that students achieve higher levels of success when they are actively and deeply involved or engaged in their education. This does not just relate to academic success – active engagement also contributes to social and personal development. Engaged Learning advocates the ideas of broadening, of excellence and quality, of employability, relevance, creativity, innovation and collaboration. This strategy reflects the breadth of activities across our campus, which, further our educational mission”.
Professor Paul McCutcheon, Vice President Academic and Registrar who led the development of the strategy said “one of the key elements of this strategy is to maintain UL’s leading position as the top Irish University for graduate employment. Despite the challenging environment, UL's 70% graduate employment rate for 2013 primary degree-holders is now 18% higher than the HEA’s most recently-available national average figure which is 52% for 2012. This strategy reflects the ambitions we have for our students and it capitalises on our established reputation for excellence in teaching and learning. Engaged Learning sets out how we will continue to develop our approach to teaching and learning and it reinforces the great importance we place on providing an excellent educational experience to each of our students.”
A survey of UL’s 2013 graduates showed 94% are either employed or pursuing further study. 90% of last year’s PhD graduates currently in employment - an increase of 9% on 2012 figures. The ‘First Destinations’ survey compiled by UL’s Cooperative Education and Careers Division also found that the number of UL graduates seeking employment is now at 5% down from 8% in 2012, a figure which is considerably lower than the official labour market unemployment figure which is currently in excess of 11%.
‘Engaged Learning’ is closely aligned with the National Strategy for Higher Education for 2030, and is based on the University of Limerick’s strategic priorities.
Engaged Learning - Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2014-18. Download the strategy.