Sunday 4 December 2016

Colleges told they must involve students in decision-making

Published 15/04/2016 | 02:30

IT Tralee students Lisa Dolan and Sean Walsh at the launch of the Higher Education Authority report at the Department of Education in Dublin. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan
IT Tralee students Lisa Dolan and Sean Walsh at the launch of the Higher Education Authority report at the Department of Education in Dublin. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan

Students must be centrally involved in decision-making processes in third-level colleges, according to a report from the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

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Colleges have been told they need to create the conditions, policies and culture that will engage students in areas such as governance, management and quality assurance.

Professor Tom Collins, who chaired the group that wrote the report, said the benefits of effective student engagement could include better retention rates and higher levels of satisfaction with educational outcomes.

HEA chief executive Tom Boland said student participation in higher education governance was a legal requirement, but representation on various governance bodies was not sufficient and there was a need to build up a meaningful culture.

Meanwhile, the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has accused universities of exploiting part time and temporary lecturers and researchers, through low pay rates and precarious contracts.

IFUT general secretary Mike Jennings called for immediate publication of a report promised as part of the Lansdowne Road pay agreement to address the issue.

Irish Independent

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