Memorandum of Understanding
The partner institutions recognised that there are shared values and goals within their organisations and that they wished to cooperatively develop plans and implement programmes to support learner communities in the cluster region. The partner organisations developed and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in December 2014.
The development of the MOU was driven by the various FET and HE stakeholders with particular attention being paid to the National Access Offices’, the Consultation Paper: Towards the development of a new National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education (NAO 2014), the Quality and Qualifications Ireland Strategy Statement 2014 – 2016 (QQI, 2013), the National Strategy for Higher Education 2030 (Section 2.3) and SOLAS’ publication of the Further Education and Training Strategy 2014-2019. Within the context of this, the Cluster is especially interested in Section 8 (p106) of SOLAS’ Strategy; progression of FE Graduates to Higher Education. Bringing together the ETBs and the HEIs reflects SOLAS’ commitment to, ‘take advantage of the cluster structures and proposed Technological Universities to deliver an increasing number of seamless pathways to HE …’ (SOLAS, p106). The initiative also aims to help the achievement of national targets for progression from FET to HE to 10% of those entering HE (on the basis of a FE qualification) by 2019 (ibid).
The MOU set out the specific objectives of the Network as follows:
- To collaborate on enhancing transparent visible access, transfer and progression (ATP) pathways and progression opportunities across the region.
- To identify where resources and good practice could be shared and to explore thematic collaborations.
- To identify barriers to access, transfer and progression and propose appropriate and feasible solutions.
- To create greater awareness of opportunities for students who are in the Further Education Sector to progress to Higher Education.
- To foster and support research on access, transfer and progression across the sector to inform policy.
- To provide opportunities/fora to share and disseminate information relevant to staff and students.
- To pursue funding opportunities/resources to further the objectives of the network.
- To collaborate with wider stakeholder groups to further the above objectives.
The Memorandum of Understanding can be downloaded in PDF format from this LINK.
References / Relevant Reports:
- Consultation Paper: Towards the development of a new National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education (NAO 2014)
- Quality and Qualifications Ireland Strategy Statement 2014 – 2016 (QQI, 2013)
- National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 (DES, 2011)
- Further Education and Training Strategy 2014 – 2019 (SOLAS, 2014)
- HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM PERFORMANCE FRAMEWORK 2014-2016
- Action Plan for Education 2016-2019 (DES)