Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) and Donegal Education and Training Board (Donegal ETB) have re-signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to continue to improve educational links between the two organisations.
Previously signed in 2016, this formal MoU builds upon a long history of collaboration and an established partnership between the two institutions which has been beneficial to both and one that is consistent with the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 and government policy. The overall objective is to provide for enhanced progression opportunities and pathways for learners consistent with the National Further Education and Training Strategy, 2020-2024.
Anne McHugh, Chief Executive of Donegal ETB is delighted to renew the MoU with LYIT stating:“Donegal ETB places great value on its work with LyIT because both organisations can see the benefits of collaboration for our county. Both organisations have worked exceptionally well together to put new processes in place allowing the aims of the MoU to be achieved. Donegal ETB looks forward to building upon the achievements to date and to further strengthening the bonds in the years to come.”
Paul Hannigan, LYIT President welcomed the re-signing of the MoU with Donegal ETB stating:“The relationship between LYIT and Donegal ETB has been very strong over the years, the last five years has some significant activity across a number of fronts. As LYIT now moves towards Technological University status it is really important that our relationship with Donegal ETB is retained and built upon for the benefit of the people in our region.”
A Strategic Planning Group was established which now meets quarterly to discuss the operation and strategic development of the partnership. As a result, new progression routes and pathways have been developed over the past five years that provide opportunities for those living and working in the region.
These pathways increased access to educational opportunities for students in the West/North-West regional cluster and provided greater opportunities for students to pursue flexible programmes of study, including the use of Recognition of Prior Learning and Work Based Learning.
The partnership has mapped further and higher education programme provision in the region to facilitate more seamless progression routes between programmes provided by both Donegal ETB and LYIT and has identified gaps in provision and opportunities for new programmes linked to recognised national and regional skills needs. The mapping of the further and higher education infrastructure of both organisations will enhance learning opportunities and the student experience and provide high quality educational and training provision which builds on the strength of both partners and allows development in allied areas.
Additionally, the MoU provided developmental, scholarly, and research opportunities for staff and to benefit from complementary areas of expertise and assisted in the identification of employer skills needs at local and regional level.
Over the past five years, several initiatives have been developed collaboratively by both organisations. These include Apprenticeship provision; Access to Access, a preparatory studies programme promoting equitable access to higher education in the North West region; ‘Enabling Maths’, an intensive course for Leaving Certificate students that facilitates progression; ‘Maps and Gaps’ initiative, developing cross-border pathways; Joint Schools Engagement activities; Quality Assurance review; development of the Cross-border FE/HE Cluster; development of the ICT/FinTech Cluster; teacher education programmes; cooperation on the Engineering Operations traineeship and Erasmus Plus anti-bullying programme.
The resigning of the MoU will greatly benefit the North West region. Both organisations will continue to build on the collaborations in the future.