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National Student Engagement Programme


Pilot programme launched in April 2016


The National Student Engagement Programme is a collaborative initiative under development by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). The National Student Engagement Programme will develop student capabilities and institutional capacity to enhance engagement at all levels across the higher education system.


The programme has two objectives. The first is to develop and support the implementation of a student training programme.  The second related objective is to build institutional capacity to provide high quality opportunities for learners to engage. 

The programme aims to: 

- develop student capabilities to engage in quality assurance and quality enhancement with higher education institutions; 
- support institutions in facilitating meaningful engagement with students; 
- strengthen the value of student engagement;
- develop and implement tools and resources to build effective engagement practice; and
- systematically improve student engagement across all higher education institutions.

The programme was launched as a pilot in April 2016. The aim of the pilot is to develop tools and resources that can be more widely applied to improve student engagement practices.  The participants in the pilot were selected following a Call for Proposals issued by USI, QQI and the HEA.  The pilot institutions are Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT), NUI Galway, the National College of Ireland (NCI) and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).  The institutions will participate in the pilot in partnership with their students’ unions and work on the development of the programme.

The programme is supported by the appointment of a National Student Engagement Coordinator, Ms Cat O’Driscoll. Cat is located at USI. The agency for Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland, sparqs, has been engaged to advise and assist on the development of the programme.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Higher Education Authority (HEA), QQI and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) for the management and governance arrangements of the National Student Engagement Programme is available to view here.

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Launch of the National Student Engagement Programme