Feedback and Reporting on "Challenges and Change in Adult and Further Education in Ireland​"

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 00:00

↵The landscape of adult and further education in Ireland has changed greatly in recent years due to the effects of austerity and major changes in teacher training, accreditation, assessment and funding. These developments have created a whole set of new challenges and opportunities for practitioners, managers and policymakers.

How should we respond to these changes? What can we do to maintain and improve the quality of adult education in Ireland? What are the teaching practices that provide the basis for excellence in further education? How can research be used to enhance ‘best practice’?

This conference created space for over 100 adult practitioners, policymakers and academics to critically explore these important questions together and consisted of a mixture of formal presentations on research, policy and educational theory alongside workshops, roundtable debates, and experiential and arts based sessions. The latest publication from MACE Press Further Education and Training – History, Politics, Practice a significant contribution to scholarship in the field was also launched at the conference. You can reflect on the full agenda here.






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Feedback from the participants include: 

  • It was an inspiring event and a wonderful opportunity to hear new ideas, make new connections and renew older ones and to be reminded of what's going on in other areas of FE. 

There was great energy at the Conference - gives great hope for all of us for the future. 

  •  I thoroughly enjoyed the conference at the weekend, I learnt so much. It was great to meet so many professionals in our field of work and to hear their talks.

Like a good book or movie I came away from the conference with more questions than answers. What I am convinced of is that there is an immediate need for an active and inclusive forum required to address these core issues.

  • It was great to have such thought-provoking input from so many speakers and to have the space to reflect on important issues during this time of change.

I suggest that the event has identified a particular need for practitioners in further education. Arising I hope it will be the first of a regular opportunity for practitioners to meet along with policymakers, educators, and learners.

  • Really enjoyed the space to think about what we do everyday in a different setting. I found the conference a most open and welcoming experience and benefitted hugely from the experience.  

I found the conference invigorating and made me think of why I started this work in the first place. 


The Department would like to congratulate the speakers, and workshop leaders, and thank all who attended the conference over the two days. We look forward to engaging with you again. We would also like to thank John Byrne from MU Bookshop for his role in promoting MACE Press Further Education and Training – History, Politics, Practice.