3 years ago

Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

The strategic actions

The strategic actions are:1. Ireland will enhance its performance through partnership and collaboration.This will involve strengthened co-ordination mechanisms, including the establishment offour thematic working groups, to complement the work of the High Level Group onInternational Education and the targeting of priority markets where collaborative actions willtake place. The High Level Group will work in co-operation with the standingInterdepartmental Committee on Student Immigration, chaired by the Department of Justiceand Law Reform, to facilitate a co-ordinated national approach.2. The "Education Ireland" brand will be redeveloped and national promotion and marketingwill be strengthened. Enterprise Ireland will take the lead in redeveloping the national brand,to be supported by financial contributions from the education sector.3. Quality will be at the heart of Ireland's offering. A statutory Code of Practice and a QualityMark, to be awarded to educational institutions that meet certain criteria, will provide thebasis for quality assurance of education and related services provided to internationalstudents. Institutions will need to put appropriate supports (including pastoral care) in placefor international students.4. Ireland's visa, immigration and work policies will be strong and competitive. Implementationof the student immigration reforms and of related proposals by the Irish Naturalisation andImmigration Service of the Department of Justice and Law Reform to enhance Ireland’sstudent visa system, will enhance Ireland's general competitivenessin the area of international education.5. Ireland's higher education institutions will be globally competitive and internationallyoriented.Institutions will articulate their international vision as part of their wider missionand will put in place the appropriate structures to make it a reality.6. Ireland will develop targeted and relevant international offerings. Specific categories ofinternational student who are likely to become the next generation of leaders, entrepreneursand decision makers will be targeted, and educational programme offerings will betailored to their needs and interests.7. Government policies and actions will be consistent and supportive. The High Level Groupand its four working groups will be used to facilitate consistency of policy and approach byGovernment departments and agencies. New scholarship programmes, which willreplace the existing Department of Education and Skills bilateral schemes, will be operatedand funded in partnership between the Department and education institutions. TheDepartment will also maintain a small strategic fund to support one-off specific researchand other initiatives designed to improve Ireland’s position as a centre for internationaleducation.8. Ireland will strengthen its Networks of Influence. A more strategic approach will be taken tomaintaining relationships with the Irish-educated diaspora.9. Outward Mobility by Irish staff members and students will be encouraged. Balancedinternationalisation must include outward mobility, which will enhance the interculturalskills and international expertise of both staff members and students of Irisheducational institutions.10. North-South and EU co-operation will enhance Ireland's performance. The potential formutually beneficial North-South collaboration in the area of international education will beexplored. Ireland will actively participate in the development of a proposed EUinternational higher education strategy and in EU mobility programmes.The High-Level Group will be responsible for overall implementation and progress towards thenational objectives and targets will be monitored through publication of an annual report oninternationalisation of Irish education. Implementation will be phased over the full course of thefive-year strategy.24

The key targets for 2015 are to:• Increase overall international student numbers in higher education institutions by 50% to38,000. Increase the number of English language students by 25% to 120,000.• Increase the proportion of full-time international students in higher education undertakingresearch or taught postgraduate programmes to 35%, from 23% currently.• Enhance the economic impact of international education to over €1.2billion.Students from India, China and the Middle East, Brazil and the USA will be specifically targetedand post-graduate students will be allowed work in Ireland for up to a year after they complete theirstudies. High-value research students will be permitted to bring families if they are staying morethan two years.2.3.2 Transnational mobility programmes and schemes in VETThere have been arrangements for transnational VET partnerships and networks for the exchange of‘best practices’ between training providers in Ireland and other European countries, and several newVET processes have been jointly developed, utilising EU funding for these partnerships. There havefor instance been co-operative developments and partnerships in areas such as apprenticeship,trainer development curriculum and the transparency of qualifications 14 . Many partnership projectshave been facilitated under the EU Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-13 (LLL), whose aims areto foster exchange, co-operation and mobility between education and training systems within EUmember states. Léargas is the Irish National Agency for three actions of the Lifelong LearningProgramme (LLP) - Leonardo da Vinci (LdV) for vocational education and training; Comenius forschools and Grundtvig for adult education. The fourth sub-programme Erasmus for highereducation is managed in Ireland by the Higher Education Authority. Ireland has been allocated €11,118, 000 for the duration of the current EU LLL programme.The target for the LdV mobility programme for 2010 was to fund 450 participants across all threecategories of initial vocational training (IVT), people in the labour market (PLM), and vocationaleducation and training professionals (VETPro). This target was far exceeded as 727 bursaries werefunded across all categories. In the IVT category 469 persons were funded across 12 projects: anincrease of 153 from 2009. Although the number of projects funded in the PLM category wasreduced from 7 in 2009 to 4 in 2010, these were larger in size and the total number of personsincreased from 115 to 118. Significant increases were seen in the VETPRO category where thenumber of projects doubled from 5 in 2009 to 10 in 2010 and the number of persons supported bythe programme rose from 80 to 140. 15A number of inter-related factors have influenced the upward trend in mobility of learners fromIreland. More VET programmes and courses now incorporate a period of work placement andprovide opportunities for this to be undertaken in a company located in Europe with the financialsupport from LLL-LdV programme. The majority of these work placements are fully accredited bythe sending institution and are eligible for Europass certification. Also with the economic decline inrecent years, it has become more difficult to find suitable work experience at home and Irish peopleare more motivated to locate this experience abroad. The main obstacles to mobility for Irishlearners are limited foreign language skills, the pre-departure language and cultural preparation thathas to be undertaken, and reluctance on the part of some learners to travel abroad for training oreducation purposes.14 A bridge to the future: European VET policy 2002-10. National Policy Report Ireland. Margaret Barry, FÁS. Pg 23.15Leargas Annual Report 2010.25

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