19 December 2019
By Mary Bermingham
Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has celebrated 20 years of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). The occasion was marked with the launch of a video and handbook presenting reflections from CIT staff, students, and national and European contributors regarding the impact and future directions of RPL. Attendees were welcomed by CIT President Dr Barry O Connor followed by an address by Dr Joseph Ryan, THEA, who formally launched the RPL 20-year handbook.
Ciarán Lynch, Cork ETB, spoke of how lifelong learning in Cork has evolved through the city’s Lifelong Learning Festival and its recognition as a UNESCO Learning City. Professor Irene Sheridan of CIT Extended Campus, highlighted the importance RPL has and in addressing future skills needs and the opportunity it presents for further engagement with those external to CIT.
In the past 20 years more than 6,000 RPL applications have been successfully granted, across 696 modules, 154 programmes by over 500 academic assessors, with 37 full academic awards granted through RPL. Advanced entry to programmes was granted to 112 applicants. This activity spans CIT, all disciplines, and all levels on the National Framework of Qualifications.
In addition, CIT has been involved in wide-ranging scholarships in RPL and contributes to policy development, both nationally, and throughout Europe. European Funded projects have supported CIT in the exploration of recognition of learning gained through volunteering, validation of skills of migrants and refugees, and building capacity and capability for recognition of learning through experience.
Deirdre Goggin, RPL and Work-Based Learning, CIT Extended Campus said, “It was important to mark this momentous occasion not just for CIT but for the learners, staff, businesses, and the region in general. RPL has provided significant lifelong and life-wide opportunities, exemplified by reflections of the contributions we’ve gathered. We look forward to the next 20 years.”