Collaborative Provision… a Lifelong Journey


The third biennial seminar on collaborative provision was held last week in the Haughton Building at Institute of Technology Carlow and showcased the important role the Institute has played in shaping and developing third level education provision, in Ireland and internationally.

Collaborative Provision…a Lifelong Journey captured how collaborative provision programmes by Institute of Technology Carlow with its various partners has provided the Institute’s students with diverse educational pathways. The seminar was chaired by Dr Yvonne Kavanagh, chair of the Institute’s collaborative provision committee.

In his opening address David Denieffe, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Institute of Technology Carlow, reviewed the history of the Institute in recognising and assessing the workplace experience.  He discussed the Institute’s engagement with collaborative partners, nationally and internationally, in recognising workplace learning and incorporating same into the awarding of academic qualifications.

Keynote speaker for the event was Marijke Darshorst, who has more than 30 years’ experience in Vocational Education and Training (VET) and adult learning at EU and international level, and is a former adult learning and VET specialist at the European Commission.  Ms. Darshorst explained the system for recognising informal and non-formal education in the Netherlands.

Part of the seminar focused on some of the national partnerships developed by the Institute. Speakers included Eoin Homan, Head of the Built Environment and Extended Campus faculty and Capt. Alan Gordon, Officer in the Defence Forces Registrar’s Office. Joseph Collins, Head of the Faculty of Lifelong Learning introduced IT Carlow’s newest partners, Rob and Tricia Norris from the Irish Gestalt Centre, who spoke of their experiences as collaborative partners of the Institute.

One of the highlights of the seminar was the personal experiences of two Institute graduates - Eithne Dunne and Comdt Jayne Lawlor. Eithne Dunne is currently Education Facilitator for the QQI Level 6 Childcare programme in An Cosán, Dublin.  Eithne talked about her pathway through the education system, from her time as a student on the Certificate in Community Development in An Cosan ten years ago, and her progression onto the BA Degree in Leadership and Community Development, which she successfully completed in 2014.  Comdt. Jayne Lawlor, who is the Commanding Office of the 2nd Brigade Cavalry Squadron at Cathal Brugha Barracks, discussed her experience with the collaborative provision, including graduating from Institute of Technology Carlow with an MA in Teaching and Learning.

The seminar ended with a panel discussion on the future of collaborative provision in education, chaired by Andrina Wafer, Head of Access and Lifelong Learning in QQI.