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As part of Next Steps, the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) investigated the impact of the pandemic from an international student perspective. The ICOS research aimed to identify the issues facing international students, the actions that can be taken to address these issues, and the lessons that can be learned to improve teaching and learning, as well as the overall international student experience in Ireland.

This paper describes some innovative online and simulated solutions that were developed at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) to enable continued provision of experiential learning opportunities for healthcare students during the Covid-19 pandemic. It shows how elements of experiential learning practice are amenable to virtual modes of delivery and considers the possible implications of this for experiential learning practice beyond the realm of health professions education.

What are the forefront issues concerning the assessment of students in further and higher education in 2021? To answer this question, QQI conducted a series of informal soundings with key people from Further Education (FE), Higher Education (HE) and Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) in 2021. Here we report our main HE-relevant findings.

QQI Assessment Insight 2021


The higher education quality assurance system helps to ensure that education, research, qualifications and related services are of a quality that is acceptable nationally and internationally and supports confidence in the integrity of the qualifications system.The quality assurance system in Ireland emerges from the
actions and interactions of agents such as higher education institutions, their representative bodies, the Union of Students in Ireland, Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs), state agencies and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. Each higher education institution has its own institutional quality assurance system that is embedded within the national system and determines the quality of education, research and related services that it is willing and able to maintain subject to national norms. In this paper we reflect on how this quality and qualifications system responded to the Covid-19 crisis, what can be learned from that, and how it may assist us in the future.