Dr Joseph Collins with IT Carlow clerical officer Geraldine Cawley and Lifelong Learning manager Eoin O’Brien
The Faculty of Lifelong Learning at Institute of Technology Carlow has won the Public Sector Higher Education Support Award by Public Sector magazine as part of its Excellence in Business Awards.
With almost 9,500 enrolments and 900 staff in 2020, IT Carlow provides provides higher education full and part-time from Levels six to 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications.
The Faculty of Lifelong Learning provides opportunities for adults to upgrade their skills and qualifications in line with current trends. Degrees and masters are offered in the areas of business, computing, science, engineering and humanities through IT Carlow’s campuses at Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow. In addition, the Faculty of Lifelong Learning delivers onsite learning for industry in various locations across the country responding to niche demands.
Head of Lifelong Learning at IT Carlow, Dr Joseph Collins, said the institute was delighted to receive recognition for its leadership role in responding to the provision of part-time education, particularly as its timing coincides with the 50th anniversary of the college’s founding.
“IT Carlow places the quality of the learner experience centre-stage, supported by a commitment to knowledge development and the achievement of excellence to creativity and innovation," commented Dr. Collins.
Dr Collins said the public sector is very important to IT Carlow because training and continuous learning are more pertinent than ever. “Lifelong learning opportunities will help to ensure that employees maintain digital skills as technology evolves. When agencies have tools to predict future skills demands, they can identify early where training can benefit an individual employee," he said.
“In our personal lives, we never stop learning. Every day offers a chance to expand our thought processes, our knowledge about the topics we are interested in and our ability to make a difference in the world. The public service workforce is no different. Unlock the lifelong learning opportunity for employees. In the end, it will benefit the workforce and the agency itself," added Dr. Collins.
Dr Collins said the Faculty of Lifelong Learning at IT Carlow is always on the move and is in constant dialogue with industry and society in responding to needs and pre-empting new programmes. In response to Covid-19, IT Carlow has moved its delivery to a fully hybrid model using blackboard and constantly endeavours to improve on delivery and service.
“The Faculty of Lifelong Learning has a dedicated team whose primary aim is to help provide support and guidance for those wishing to return to education. This award is testament to their hard work and commitment," Dr Collins added.