Institutional Review Report - 2018 Letterkenny Institute of Technology - QQI

 
Institutional Review Report - 2018 Letterkenny Institute of Technology - QQI
Institutional
Review Report 2018
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Institutional Review Report - 2018 Letterkenny Institute of Technology - QQI
Contents Contents
Foreword......................................................................................................................3

The Review Team.....................................................................................................................4

Section A: Introduction...........................................................................................................7

    1. Introduction and Context [8]

Section B: Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER)....................................................11

    2. Methodology used to prepare the ISER [12]

Section C: Quality Assurance/Accountability...................................................................15

    3. Objective 1 – Current Quality Assurance Procedures [16]

    4. Objective 2 – Procedures for Awarding [27]

    5. Objective 3 – Quality Enhancement [29]

    6. Objective 4 – Procedures for Access, Transfer and Progression [31]

    7. Objective 5 – Provision of Programmes to International Learners [32]

Section D: Conclusions.........................................................................................................33

    8. Overall Findings [34]

        Commendations [34]

        Recommendations [34]

        Top 5 Commendations and Recommendations [36]

        Overarching Statements about QA [37]

Appendices.............................................................................................................................39

        Appendix A: Terms of Reference [40]

        Appendix B: Main Review Visit Schedule [49]

        Appendix C: Institutional Response [52]
Institutional Review Report - 2018 Letterkenny Institute of Technology - QQI
Institutional Review Report 2018

Foreword
Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) is responsible    equivalent, and adherence to other relevant QQI
for the external quality assurance of further and          policies and procedures. CINNTE reviews also explore
higher education and training in Ireland. One of QQI’s     how institutions have enhanced their teaching,
most important statutory functions is to ensure that       learning and research and their quality assurance
the quality assurance procedures that institutions         systems, and how well institutions have aligned their
have in place have been implemented and are                approach to their own mission, quality indicators and
effective. To this end, QQI carries out external reviews   benchmarks.
of Institutes of Technology on a cyclical basis. This
                                                           The CINNTE review process is in keeping with Parts
current QQI cycle of reviews is called the CINNTE
                                                           2 and 3 of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality
cycle. CINNTE reviews are an element of the broader
                                                           Assurance in the European Higher Education Area
quality framework for Institutes of Technology
                                                           (ESG 2015) and based on the internationally accepted
composed of: Quality Assurance Guidelines; Quality
                                                           and recognised approach to reviews, including:
Assurance Approval; Annual Institutional Quality
Reports; Dialogue Meetings; The National Framework          −− the publication of Terms of Reference;
of Qualifications; Delegation of Authority; and, most       −− a process of self-evaluation and Institutional
crucially, the Quality Assurance (QA) systems that             Self-Evaluation Report (ISER);
each institution establishes. The CINNTE review cycle
runs from 2017-2023. During this period, QQI will           −− an external assessment and Site Visit by a team
organise and oversee independent reviews of each of            of reviewers;
the Universities, the Institutes of Technology and the      −− the publication of a Review Report including
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).                   findings and recommendations; and
Each CINNTE review evaluates the effectiveness of           −− a follow-up procedure to review actions taken.
the quality assurance procedures of each institution.
                                                           This institutional review of Letterkenny Institute of
Cyclical review measures each institution’s
                                                           Technology was conducted by an independent Review
compliance with European standards for quality
                                                           Team in line with the Terms of Reference in Appendix
assurance (Standards and Guidelines for Quality
                                                           A. This is the report of the findings of the Review
Assurance in the European Higher Education
                                                           Team.
Area, 2015), in regard to the expectations set out
in the QQI quality assurance guidelines or their

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Institutional Review Report - 2018 Letterkenny Institute of Technology - QQI
Institutional Review Report 2018

    The Review Team
    Each CINNTE review is carried out by an international team of independent experts and peers. The 2018
    institutional review of Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) was conducted by a team of six reviewers
    selected by QQI. The Review Team was trained by QQI on 26 February 2018 and the planning visit to LYIT took
    place on 27 February 2018. The Main Review Visit was conducted by the full team between 23 April 2018 and
    27 April 2018. Due to personal circumstances, two of the Review Team members, including the coordinating
    reviewer, withdrew from the process prior to the Main Review Visit. They were replaced by Dr Trish O’Brien
    and Jan Cairns. QQI arranged an additional training event for the new members which was also attended by
    the Chair.

    CHAIR                                                       COORDINATING REVIEWER
    Professor Crichton Lang MRCVS is Deputy Principal           Dr Trish O’Brien has been Director of O’BRIEN /
    and also Head of the School of Health, Social Care          Governance Design since 2016. Trish worked in
    and Life Sciences at the University of the Highlands        the private sector for 10 years prior to joining the
    and Islands. He originally trained and practised as         National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI)
    a veterinary surgeon in Tayside, Scotland before            in 2005 as Head of Framework Implementation and
    completing a PhD in neuropharmacology and                   Qualifications Recognition. Following the formation
    pursuing a university career. Crichton worked first         of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) she held
    in the University of Bristol and subsequently for           roles as Head of Provider Relations and subsequently
    12 years at the University of St Andrews where in           Head of Strategic Planning and Communications. As
    addition to undertaking research, lecturing and             Director of O’BRIEN / Governance Design she provides
    developing curriculum in his own areas of interest          governance consultancy services to the private,
    (applied physiology, human and comparative biology),        public and not-for-profit sectors, including to further
    he held the posts of Director of Teaching for the           and higher education and training agencies and
    School of Biology and Pro-Dean for the Faculty of           institutions. Trish originally studied English language
    Science. Building on his broad experience within the        and literature and holds a Doctorate in Governance
    sector, Crichton co-ordinated much of the strategic         from Queen’s University Belfast.
    development of the University of the Highlands
    and Islands through its journey to degree awarding          INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVE
    powers and full university title. In addition to a broad    Ann McGregor MBE was appointed as Chief Executive
    portfolio of responsibilities within the university         of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce
    as Deputy Principal, Crichton maintains specific            and Industry in June 2008. She was formerly Chief
    oversight of the key activities relating to the quality     Executive of Enterprise NI and a Director with
    assurance and enhancement of academic courses,              Business in the Community. Ann commenced her
    student achievement and satisfaction and the                career in the private sector working in production/
    strategic development of the university’s portfolio         materials management with Roche Manufacturing,
    of awards and other areas of academic growth.               Schering Plough and Bird’s General Foods before
    Crichton has a particular interest in institutional audit   moving into local economic development. Ann is a BA
    and review of universities and has experience as an         Honours Graduate of Queen’s University and holds a
    institutional reviewer both in Scotland and abroad.         MA Marketing from Ulster University. Ann is currently
                                                                a Trustee of the Grand Opera House and a member
                                                                of the Senate at Queen’s University. Her commitment
                                                                to developing the Northern Ireland economy was
                                                                acknowledged in 2012 when she was awarded an
                                                                MBE.

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Institutional Review Report - 2018 Letterkenny Institute of Technology - QQI
Institutional Review Report 2018

LEARNER REPRESENTATIVE                                      INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Erica Cunningham is in third year of the Bachelor of        Professor Jürg Christener has been Director of the
Arts (Honours) in Media and Public Relations at IT          School of Engineering at the University of Applied
Carlow. She has participated in the PAKs scheme at IT       Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW),
Carlow, assisting first year students in their transition   Windisch since 2006. He worked as an engineer
to college. Erica is particularly interested in student     before moving to the University of Applied Sciences in
engagement and is part of an internal working group         Northwest Switzerland in 1995, where he worked as a
as a faculty representative, involving participation        lecturer, Vice President and finally Director in the area
in meetings with Heads of the College to discuss            of Engineering. He is President of the association,
issues relating to quality and projects. She has also       NaTech-Education, and President of the Foundation
acted as class representative and aims to run for           Board of the Summermatter Foundation.
election to the Student’s Union. Erica is participating
in the National Student Engagement Programme
(NStEP), a collaborative initiative under development
by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), the Higher
Education Authority (HEA) and QQI. NStEP seeks
to develop student capabilities and institutional
capacity to enhance engagement at all levels across
the higher education system.

QUALITY ASSURANCE REPRESENTATIVE
Jan Cairns has been Quality Assurance Officer in the
Dublin Institute of Technology since 1999. Prior to
returning to Ireland, Jan worked in similar roles in
the UK. She has experience of institutional review
in the UK both from the institutional point of view
and from acting as secretary to a Higher Education
Quality Council (predecessor to the Quality Assurance
Agency) audit panel. Jan was also a member of the
Steering Group for DIT’s most recent institutional
review in 2011. She has been involved in the design,
monitoring and implementation of DIT’s quality
assurance policies and procedures and has a
particular responsibility for drafting DIT’s Annual
Institutional Quality Report (AIQR) to QQI.

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Institutional Review Report 2018

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Institutional Review Report - 2018 Letterkenny Institute of Technology - QQI
A
                                     Institutional Review Report 2018

Section

          Introduction
          Introduction and Context

                                                              7
Institutional Review Report - 2018 Letterkenny Institute of Technology - QQI
Institutional Review Report 2018

    Introduction
    1. Introduction and Context

    Brief profile of Letterkenny Institute of                    taught programmes face-to-face and on its
    Technology (LYIT)                                            campuses. The Institute’s programmes are labour
                                                                 market focused and 60% of its graduates are
    1.1 Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) is            reported as working within Donegal.
        one of 14 Institutes of Technology regionally
                                                             1.6 The Institute has recorded an increase in
        dispersed across the Republic of Ireland. Its
                                                                 full-time students from 2,684 in 2011/2012 to
        statutory basis is set out by the Institutes of
                                                                 3,152 in 2017/2018; the most recent figures
        Technology Acts 1992 to 2006. The Institute is
                                                                 were derived from its October census returns
        located in the north-west of Ireland in a two-
                                                                 as March HEA returns had not been made at
        campus setting: Letterkenny and Killybegs.
                                                                 the time of submission of the ISER. Part-time
    1.2 LYIT is funded through the Higher Education              student figures for the same period rose from
        Authority (HEA); the Irish funding and strategy          336 to 883. Part-time students now make up
        body for higher education. A funding breakdown           22% of the student population of LYIT. Overall
        for 2017 published by the HEA indicates that             growth in numbers is 34% since 2011/2012,
        the Institute’s overall funding for 2017 was             which compares with 24% average growth across
        in excess of €17.5 million. Much of this figure          the higher education system. 42% of school
        (75%) consisted of core funding from the HEA.            leavers in Donegal that pursue higher education
        The remainder included undergraduate and                 are reported as attending LYIT. In 2017/18
        nursing fees and other State funding received to         LYIT had 70 Erasmus students and 72 non-EU
        support the provision of labour-market focused           students. The number of countries from which its
        programmes free of cost to eligible individuals,         non-EU students are derived has increased from
        and to support the successful participation in           1 in 2013/14, to 15 in 2017/18.
        higher education of students with disabilities.
                                                             1.7 LYIT currently has a joint awarding agreement
    1.3 The Institute has four academic schools:                 with Ulster University and six other collaborative
        Business, Engineering, Science and Tourism. The          agreements, in which the Institute is the
        Tourism school is based in Killybegs and became          awarding body, with Retail Ireland, Skillnet,
        part of LYIT in 2007. In 2017, it was confirmed to       Northwest Regional College Derry, Dorset College,
        the Institute that €3 million would be provided by       and the National Alcohol Forum.
        the State, over a four-year period, to support the
                                                             1.8 In terms of research, LYIT received delegated
        ongoing costs of the Killybegs campus.
                                                                 authority from QQI in 2017 to award research
    1.4 The Review Team was provided with staff data             degrees at Level 9. In addition, it has a number
        published by the HEA in 2017. Based on a total           of Strategic Research Centres that specialise
        number of full-time core-funded academic staff           in areas such as marine biotechnology, wireless
        of 168, 90.5% were permanent and 9.5% on                 sensors, and electronics, production and
        temporary contracts.                                     innovation technology. In terms of knowledge
    1.5 LYIT has delegated authority from QQI to make            transfer, HEA data references four invention
        undergraduate and postgraduate awards                    disclosures by LYIT in 2013 and one in 2014 and
        up to Level 9 on the National Framework of               2015. A license agreement was referenced in
        Qualifications (NFQ) i.e., master’s level. In its        2014.
        presentation to the Review Team, LYIT confirmed      1.9 At a higher education policy level, LYIT is
        that it has 51 entry level programmes and 11             operating within a Performance Framework for
        masters programmes. LYIT largely delivers its
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Institutional Review Report 2018

    2018-2020. It reports against six objectives and           other education and training agencies to form
    associated high-level targets on an annual basis           QQI. As part of its statutory remit, QQI has issued
    to the HEA. The Performance Framework in turn              core, sector-specific and topic-specific quality
    is influenced by a range of national policies and          assurance guidelines that higher education
    strategies that have been revised or introduced;           institutions, including LYIT, must have regard to
    including areas such as skills, innovation, access,        in documenting their quality assurance policies
    international engagement, entrepreneurship                 and procedures.
    and language. The Technological Universities Act      1.13 LYIT has a quality assurance policy and a detailed
    was introduced in 2018 and now Institutes of               QA handbook that sets out how it implements
    Technology can apply for Technological University          that policy through its procedures. Staff of
    status if they have met the associated criteria. At        the Institution articulated their use of these
    least two Institutes of Technology must partner            procedures in the planning and management
    to apply for this status. Letterkenny is a member          of academic programmes. The Institute has
    of the Connaught-Ulster Alliance (CUA), which              a management and governance system that
    includes Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology,              is tasked with assuring its Academic Council
    and Institute of Technology Sligo. Consideration           and its Governing Body that these procedures
    of TU status is a current priority for LYIT.               are being implemented as intended. Student
1.10 At a wider national level, the National Planning          representatives form part of quality oversight
     Framework is also a significant reference                 through their membership of organs of
     point for LYIT and its strategic development.             governance at institute and school levels. LYIT
     The National Planning Framework is aiming to              has responded to the introduction of QQI’s
     correct the over-concentration of population,             statutory quality assurance guidelines. The
     homes and jobs in the Dublin area by creating             Institute is currently refreshing its quality
     a more even spread of development across the              assurance procedures and finalising a review
     country by 2040. It also acknowledges Ireland’s           and redrafting of its Quality Assurance
     close relationship with Northern Ireland, and in          Handbook.
     this context, the “key links between Letterkenny     1.14 In its review of the Institute’s Annual Institutional
     and Derry” as part of the North-West Growth               Quality Assurance Report (AIQR) submitted
     Partnership.                                              by LYIT to QQI in 2016 and 2017, the Review
1.11 LYIT is in the process of developing a strategic          Team could see examples of how the Institute
     plan for the period 2018-2022. It has cited the           is seeking to initiate quality enhancement
     outcomes of this present CINNTE Institutional             activities. During its visit, the Review Team
     review as one of the inputs to that process. The          was assured by its discussions with staff and
     President of LYIT was reappointed for a further           students that the Institute is responsive to the
     5-year term in January 2018 and will oversee              needs of, and any issues encountered by both
     the implementation of the new strategy. LYIT              cohorts. The Institute has also undertaken a
     communicated to the Review Team that its                  significant number of Periodic Programme
     mission remains constant and will influence its           Evaluations (PPEs) and Central Services Reviews
     new strategy. In summary, its mission is to be            (CSR). However, the Review Team did not receive
     nationally significant, regionally engaged, and           documented evidence of quality enhancement
     student-centred.                                          by the Institute, arising from the outcomes of
                                                               these review processes. As discussed later
Quality assurance, review and                                  in this report (paragraphs 3.49 and 5.1), the
enhancement                                                    introduction of a Quality Implementation Plan
                                                               (QIP), would increase the efficiency of the quality
1.12 The most recent institutional review of LYIT was
                                                               enhancement initiatives that the Institute wishes
     carried out by the Higher Education and Training
                                                               to instigate.
     Awards Council (HETAC) in 2009. HETAC was
     subsequently amalgamated with a number of

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Institutional Review Report 2018

10
B
                                                 Institutional Review Report 2018

Section

          Institutional Self-Evaluation
          Report (ISER)
          Methodology used to prepare the ISER

                                                                          11
Institutional Review Report 2018

  Institutional Self-
  Evaluation Report (ISER)
  2. Methodology used to prepare the ISER
  2.1 The Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER)            Partners in Quality Scotland (sparqs). The
      was developed by an ISER Group. Its membership             session examined key statements from the
      consisted of the Registrar, the Head of                    draft LYIT Institutional Self Evaluation Report.
      Development, the Head of Teaching & Learning,              A summary of student responses to these
      the Senior Lecturer (Strategic Planning), the              statements was then passed back to LYIT. Given
      Senior Lecturer (Quality Assurance), and the               the close link between the ISER preparation and
      President of the Students’ Union.                          LYIT’s development of its new Strategic Plan the
  2.2 As illustrated diagrammatically in the ISER itself,        Review Team also notes positively that, within the
      the creation of the ISER drew on the outputs               context of its chairing of NStEP’s national project
      from a 24-month cycle of review activities                 4 (see paragraph 5.8), LYIT and its Students’
      including school and programme-level reviews               Union held creative focus groups with students
      (PPEs) from January 2016 to September 2017,                – in the form of facilitated graffiti walls – to
      and central service reviews (CSRs) from January            assist students in articulating their preferred
      2016 to March 2018; the latter were thus                   destination for the Institute by the end of the
      partially completed prior to the submission                forthcoming strategic period.
      of the ISER. Through their participation in           2.4 The final draft of the ISER was developed by a
      these reviews, most staff had some input into             sub-group and agreed by the ISER Group, before
      the evaluation processes that subsequently                being approved by both the Executive Board
      informed the content of the ISER. The PPE and             and the Academic Council. The final submission
      CSR reviews, the preparation of the ISER and the          document and the LYIT Profile Document
      cyclical review process are also viewed by LYIT as        for Cyclical Review were made available
      being closely linked to the ongoing development           electronically to all staff and students.
      of its new Strategic Plan 2018-2022. The ISER         2.5 Whilst the Review Team is satisfied that
      states that “Oversight of both the development of         consultation on the content of the ISER took
      the new strategy and the self-evaluation for the          place, and that it was informed by the outcomes
      Cyclical Review involved the Academic Council,            of extensive review processes completed and
      Executive Board, Executive Council and the                being undertaken by LYIT, it is of the opinion that,
      student body with every effort made to ensure             on balance, the ISER is more descriptive than
      that the ongoing work for the new strategic plan          evaluative. It bases this conclusion on several
      could contribute to the Cyclical Review and vice          factors:
      versa”.
                                                                 −− LYIT is in the process of developing a strategic
  2.3 In terms of other measures reported to inform                 plan for 2018-2022. As a result, it was difficult
      the ISER, a Consultation and Engagement                       for the Review Team to understand the
      Document was prepared specifically to inform                  preferred strategy of the organisation and,
      debate at the Academic Council, Executive                     in turn, how this has influenced its quality
      Council and with the student body. Fifteen                    assurance procedures and enhancement
      LYIT students and LYIT sabbatical officers also               initiatives.
      participated in a focus group led by Student

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Institutional Review Report 2018

−− Much of the ISER is written in the future tense:          driven, the Review Team felt that even here
   as noted above it refers to a future strategy,            there was opportunity for more reflective/
   but it also refers to developments underway to            evaluative narrative, especially of the reasons
   refresh its quality assurance procedures and              for specific QA developments being prioritised.
   proposed quality enhancement activities. As               A further unpacking of the reasoning for
   the Review Team is tasked with considering                specific approaches taken and reflection on
   what is currently in place, this concentration            the impact and effectiveness of the changes
   on the future was interesting and contextually            would be very useful for the reader. The
   important, but not evaluatively helpful.                  section of the AIQR relating to enhancement
−− Acknowledging LYIT’s own observation that                 activities is particularly relevant in this
   it needs to improve the capture and use of                respect.
   academic management information (see               2.6 Because of the number of questions that
   paragraphs 3.34-3.35), the Review Team is              remained unanswered for the Review Team
   of the view that future ISERs would benefit            following its review of the ISER and AIQR
   from more comprehensive utilisation of data            documents, LYIT was requested to provide quite a
   both in terms of evidence and evaluation. For          significant volume of supplementary information
   instance, while the ISER includes some useful          to aid the Review Team in carrying out its
   data regarding trends in student numbers and           review. This was time-consuming for LYIT and
   a significantly increased profile of part-time         perhaps commenced the review process with an
   students, it does not present any evaluation of        impression for LYIT of a quality audit rather than
   what is behind these trends and the impact on          of an improvement and enhancement exercise.
   the Institution of this changing profile.          2.7 By contrast, the Review Team wishes to positively
−− To provide a more positive example of where            note the high-level of reflection and evaluation
   evaluation was in evidence, it is worth noting         in evidence in its formal meetings with LYIT
   a thread in the ISER relating to the theme             staff and students. Due to this capacity in the
   of ‘Building Digital Capacity’, including              individuals the Review Team engaged with, and
   potential future investment to accommodate             also the supplementary information provided
   a learning resource centre, IT and innovation          by LYIT, the Review Team was confident in its
   laboratories, online learning delivery rooms           ability to triangulate views on certain key areas
   and classrooms, inclusion of digital literacy          of strategic importance to the Institute, and
   in staff and student support and training,             to make recommendations that the Review
   and an awareness of the need to improve                Team believes will be seen as constructive and
   data systems to inform QA and QE. Although             useful to LYIT in its next period of very important
   not data-informed, this thread is one very             development.
   appropriate example within the ISER of a more      2.8 The Review Team recommends that LYIT
   evaluative approach linking to future planning         embraces the opportunity to be more evaluative
   and strategy, that might extend to a much              when developing its next ISER. In doing so, the
   wider range of areas in future ISERs.                  Review Team suggests that LYIT reviews its next
−− The AIQRs for 2016 and 2017 were also                  ISER from an enquiring external perspective i.e.,
   made available to the Review Team. These               one that seeks to understand why things have
   were viewed as satisfactory documents in               happened, what their impact on the Institution
   describing the Quality Assurance processes             has been, and how this will inform future
   within LYIT and the improvements being made            activities and strategies.
   to these processes. Although the AIQRs are
   intended to be qualitative and not metric

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Institutional Review Report 2018

14
C
                                                    Institutional Review Report 2018

Section

          Quality Assurance/Accountability
          Objective 1 – Current Quality Assurance
          		            Procedures

          Objective 2 – Procedures for Awarding

          Objective 3 – Quality Enhancement

          Objective 4 – Procedures for Access,
          		            Transfer and Progression

          Objective 5 – Provision of Programmes
          		            to International Learners

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Institutional Review Report 2018

  Quality Assurance/
  Accountability
  3. Objective 1 – Current Quality Assurance Procedures

  OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF QUALITY                            3.5 LYIT is currently in the process of developing
  ASSURANCE PROCEDURES                                         its Strategic Plan for the period 2018-2022.
                                                               This would appear to the Review Team to be a
  3.1 In conducting its review of LYIT, the Review Team        particularly important period in the Institute’s
      examined the ISER provided by the Institute,             development as it determines its direction
      its AIQRs for 2016 and 2017, its QA Handbook             regarding the status of Technological University
      and a significant amount of supplementary                and plans accordingly towards meeting the
      information that illustrated how the Institute           requisite criteria. The Institute is also actively
      is implementing its current quality assurance            pursuing growth and increased capacity through
      policies and procedures. Based on this analysis,         its buildings, programmes, student recruitment,
      the Review Team is satisfied that LYIT has in            and collaborations.
      place, and is implementing, an effective set of
                                                           3.6 The Review Team commends the success of
      quality assurance procedures. These procedures
                                                               LYIT in growing its student numbers and its
      are compliant with the European Standards and
                                                               programme offerings, and for the possibilities of
      Guidelines (ESG) and have regard to the Core
                                                               diversifying its income streams this growth has
      Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines (2016)
                                                               presented during a time of financial challenge.
      of QQI and to its Sector-Specific Guidelines
                                                               The Institute has been a key player in regional
      developed for the Institutes of Technology (2016).
                                                               economic developments and opportunities
  3.2 There are two significant areas of the relevant          and has been extremely responsive to the
      QA Guidelines that are addressed by the Review           requirements of enterprise (discussed under
      Team in other sections of this report: the first         Objective 3). It has responded to changes in
      is Governance and Management of Quality                  student patterns; notably, the increase in
      (addressed under Objective 2), and the second            demand for part-time places. It has also been
      is Access, Transfer and Progression (addressed           strategic in its collaborations (discussed
      under Objective 4).                                      in paragraphs 3.40-3.46). The Review Team
  3.3 In the following section, the Review Team makes          considers that a renewed organisational strategy
      commendations regarding the implementation               provides an opportunity for LYIT to build on
      of the QA procedures of LYIT and recommends              these positive developments, through the clear
      some quality improvement opportunities based             identification of priority areas for growth.
      on its review, and against the relevant sections     3.7 The Review Team was informed that some
      of the QA guidelines.                                    consultation with staff on the strategy of LYIT
                                                               has taken place. The Review Team considers
  GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT                                    it extremely important that a collaborative
  3.4 As noted above, the governance and management            approach to the development of strategy is
      arrangements of LYIT are discussed under                 taken by the Institute as it enters this significant
      Objective 2. The QA Guidelines identify the link         time in its institutional development. The
      between governance and decision-making and               Institute informed the Review Team that draft
      the strategy of the organisation. The strategy of        documentation has been made available to staff
16    LYIT is addressed here.                                  on elements of the proposed new strategy; it
Institutional Review Report 2018

     was not provided with evidence, however, that             measures against which they can chart their
     staff have had the opportunity to engage in               progress and identify changes in the internal and
     the formulation of the strategy that they will            external environment that may have impacted
     collectively be responsible for implementing.             upon or changed those original objectives. The
     The Review Team therefore recommends to the               absence of these operational plans was evident
     Institute that it provides opportunities for all          to the Review Team in its discussions with staff
     staff to engage in informing the strategy it is           regarding Central Services Review (CSR), as
     currently developing for 2018-2022, as well as            was the potential benefit of their introduction.
     for reviewing draft versions of the document.             The Review Team therefore recommends,
3.8 Due to the importance of the alignment of                  that LYIT develop a series of sub-strategies
    mission, strategy and quality assurance and                and operational plans, each involving input
    enhancement initiatives, the Review Team                   and collaboration across education and
    considers that a procedure for the systematic              training, research, and central support areas
    involvement of staff in the development of future          as necessary, in order to develop Institute-
    strategic plans should also be assured. The                wide systems to support and manage the
    Review Team recommends that the Institute                  implementation of its strategy for 2018-2022.
    includes in its QA Handbook a documented
    procedure for the development of Strategic             PROGRAMMES OF EDUCATION AND
    Plans, which articulates how staff and other           TRAINING
    stakeholders are included in one or more
                                                           3.11 In terms of quality assurance arrangements
    stages of internal and external consultation on
                                                                for programmes of education and training,
    strategic priorities.
                                                                the Review Team considered the policies and
3.9 In several meetings with staff, the wish for a              procedures of LYIT for programme development
    closer strategic link between the Institute’s               and approval and for programme monitoring
    education and training, research, and central               and review. The lifecycle of a programme from
    support activities was highlighted for the Review           its proposal to its introduction and review
    Team. Essentially, staff expressed a wish to                was provided to the Review Team which was a
    see a strategic map that would connect the                  helpful means of corresponding the intention
    purpose and outcomes of their activities to the             of quality assurance procedures with their
    overall direction of the organisation. The Review           implementation. The Review Team saw examples
    Team notes that the Institute sought to pursue              of Outline Programme Proposals that require the
    the establishment of Functional Area Plans to               proposer to illustrate demand for the proposed
    support its Strategic Plan 2014-2017. However,              programme from industry and learners, and to
    it was conveyed to the Review Team that this                identify similar programmes in other institutions.
    model was found to be overly complex in its                 Outline programme aims, learning outcomes,
    implementation and will be reviewed for the next            and a programme schedule are required for
    Strategic Plan.                                             consideration by the Programmes Committee,
3.10 The fulfilment of an organisational strategy               which in turn reports to the Academic Council.
     requires the development of linked cross-                  The PPE documentation that the Review Team
     organisational sub-strategies and detailed                 reviewed illustrated a thorough process that
     operational plans. Sub-strategies connect                  availed of internal and external information and
     the areas of the organisation that need to                 expertise to inform its findings. The reporting
     align, in order to deliver on the organisational           arrangements detailed in programme-related
     strategy. Operational plans translate those                quality assurance procedures were evidenced
     sub-strategies further for individuals and                 through the minutes of the Programmes
     functional areas and detail indicators of effective        Committee and the Academic Council. In
     performance. In the context of quality review,             these regards, the Review Team considers
     it is particularly important that functional               LYIT’s programme-related quality assurance
     areas have operational plans and performance               procedures to be robust.

                                                                                                                     17
Institutional Review Report 2018

  3.12 LYIT introduced 14 new programmes in                        3.14 An increase in the number and types of
       2015/2016 (11 Major Awards and 3 Special                         programmes offered by any institution has a
       Purpose Awards) and 19 new programmes in                         corresponding impact on its human resources.
       2016/2017 (15 Major Awards and 4 Special                         The absence of a role in LYIT most consistently
       Purpose Awards). New programmes being                            defined as ‘course coordinator’ was raised on
       offered by LYIT have been influenced, in part,                   several occasions in meetings with staff. The
       by labour market demand and employment                           Review Team notes that the potential advantages
       opportunities. In its ISER the Institute notes                   of introducing this role were identified in the
       that its forthcoming strategy will also commit                   2009 institutional review of LYIT. LYIT reported
       to developing new programmes that are inter-                     to the Review Team that due to the financial
       disciplinary in nature and will require greater                  challenges experienced by the Institute, this
       interaction between departments and schools                      role has not been created. It would appear
       and also strengthened processes to support                       from discussions with staff that the absence
       this type of collaboration. The potential benefits               of a course coordination role below Head of
       of a more inter-disciplinary approach at                         Department level is significantly stretching
       undergraduate level were articulated by some                     department-level management, who in effect
       students; how this could provide strategic                       appear to be the first port of call for all students
       building blocks and progression pathways                         within the Department and for all academic
       for a similarly cross-disciplinary approach at                   and related queries. Apart from the increase
       postgraduate level was also highlighted by                       in programmes, the Review Team also notes
       staff. For these reasons, and to increase cross-                 the increase in the number and diversity of
       organisational collaboration towards meeting                     LYIT students, and the demands that this can
       the strategy of LYIT, the Review Team very much                  place at Head of Department level. The Review
       encourages the Institute to pursue this intended                 Team recommends that given the growth and
       inter-disciplinary approach.                                     diversification in LYIT’s portfolio since 2009,
  3.13 The Programmes Committee, which focuses                          and its continued plans for expansion, LYIT
       on the oversight of the quality of programme                     introduces course coordinators.
       development and review on behalf of the
       Academic Council, was reported as having met                STAFF RECRUITMENT, MANAGEMENT, AND
       45 times in the last year. This is an important             DEVELOPMENT
       indicator of the amount of programme activity
                                                                   3.15 The Review Team was provided with staff data
       that is taking place in LYIT. In discussing the
                                                                        published by the Higher Education Authority
       Programmes Committee with its members
                                                                        (HEA) in 20171. Based on a total number of
       and reviewing associated documentation, the
                                                                        full-time core-funded academic staff of 168,
       Review Team considers that the oversight being
                                                                        90.5% were permanent and 9.5% on temporary
       provided by this committee is robust. However,
                                                                        contracts. The gender data categories show
       the efficiency of this model is worthy of further
                                                                        that the Executive Board (essentially the senior
       consideration and its sustainability in its current
                                                                        management team) is made up of seven males
       format is being evaluated by LYIT. The Review
                                                                        and one female; the Executive Council (the full
       Team understands that the further devolution of
                                                                        management team) is made up of 15 males
       some of the responsibilities of the Programmes
                                                                        and nine females; there is an even balance of
       Committee to a school level is being considered
                                                                        females and males amongst academic core
       and supports the Institute in its evaluation of this
                                                                        staff; there are approximately 17% fewer males
       possibility (see paragraph 4.11). At the same time,
                                                                        in non-academic core staff; and approximately
       the Review Team emphasises the importance of
                                                                        39% fewer females in what is categorised as
       the Institute maintaining governance oversight in
                                                                        research/specialist non-academic roles. The
       a more devolved model of governance.
                                                                        Review Team notes LYIT’s Equal Opportunities

  1    Higher Education Institutional Staff Profiled by Gender (HEA, 2017)

18
Institutional Review Report 2018

     Policy, and its response to the HEA’s National            to pursue masters and doctoral programmes.
     Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher                 The Institute runs a Master of Arts in Learning
     Education Institutions (2016) and considers that          and Teaching (MALT) which it describes as
     the Institute should continue to seek and avail of        being central to supporting staff in advancing
     opportunities to improve gender balance in those          their skills in, and knowledge of, learning and
     areas outside of academic core staff.                     teaching. The first cohort to complete the
3.16 LYIT provided the Review Team with the                    programme in 2017 included eight LYIT staff
     policies and procedures that inform its staff             members and an additional 8 are anticipated
     recruitment, management, and development                  to successfully conclude the programme in
     and their implementation was discussed                    2018. Staff are also enrolled on Level 9 and
     during the Review Team’s meetings with                    10 programmes in the university sector with
     the Institute. The Review Team noted the                  some completing professional doctorates in
     assessment of qualifications and delivery                 education. By October 2017, 28.1% of staff had
     skills that is undertaken when the Institute is           achieved a Level 10 qualification. The acquisition
     recruiting academic staff. The Institute also             of these qualifications by staff will contribute
     assesses attitudinal commitment in terms of               to the Institute’s ability to meet the criteria for
     institutional values when recruiting new staff.           Technological University status. The opportunity
     The Review Team was informed of the formal                to avail themselves of these qualifications
     recruitment parameters nationally within                  was also reported by staff as enhancing their
     which LYIT is obliged to operate. It was clear to         personal and professional development and
     the Review Team from the depth of discussion              informing their professional practice. The
     with the Institute’s HR staff, that they are              Review Team commends both the professional
     very aware of the constraints that nationally             development support provided by LYIT and
     agreed employment contracts place on them                 the impact that it is having on individual staff
     strategically. However, it was also evident that          in terms of their professional practice and
     LYIT is taking measured approaches to internal            aspirations.
     staff development and recruitment, as it seeks       3.19 The Review Team also heard from staff about
     to grow capacity to meet the HR demands                   their willingness, and indeed wish, to share their
     of its education and training, research and               research, and the enhanced skills and knowledge
     other activities. The Review Team believes the            gained, with their department and school, and
     Institute’s processes and procedures around               with the Institution as a whole. The Review Team
     staff recruitment are robust and that they                noted a research day that was taking place
     incorporate the consideration of an appropriate           during its visit and which provided an opportunity
     range of selection factors.                               for staff to brief others on their research activity.
3.17 The Review Team was informed that LYIT will               This is of course positive. However, the Review
     source external expertise and specialisms when            Team recommends that the Institute develops
     required, but that it focusses where possible             a strategy to systematically maximise the
     on the development of existing staff. Apart from          benefits to LYIT, and to its learners, of staff
     culturally wishing to support staff development,          undertaking postgraduate study, including
     the Institute is also pragmatic in the limitations        those on the MALT programme.
     its distance from more highly populated regions      3.20 In speaking with the staff of LYIT, the Review
     can present. The Review Team was of the view              Team noted their professionalism; their
     that LYIT was maintaining an appropriately                commitment to their students; and their focus
     balanced staff recruitment and development                on the assurance and enhancement of quality.
     strategy.                                                 This view was supported in the meetings of the
3.18 Supporting lecturing staff in their continuous            Review Team with a substantial cohort of the
     professional development (CPD) was prioritised            students of LYIT and with external stakeholders
     as part of its Strategic Plan 2014-2017 and               who are interacting with the Institute. While it
     LYIT has provided substantial funding for staff           was clear to the Review Team that the Institute

                                                                                                                       19
Institutional Review Report 2018

       has access to a significant breadth of skills             internal student questionnaire response rates
       and experience through its staff, it was not              have improved since moving from a paper-based
       always evident how individuals in linked areas            system to an online system. In the next year the
       of work, e.g. within central service departments,         online programme questionnaire (titled QA3) will
       were enabled by the Institute to formally share           be combined with the ISSE. In terms of informal
       that skill and experience. It was also not clear          feedback provided on programmes, students
       to the Review Team how cross-institutional                consistently reported to the Review Team that
       dialogue is formally facilitated, e.g. between            staff were responsive to issues they raised. This
       central services departments and academic                 was stated as being particularly important to
       schools and departments, and between the                  part-time students who identified themselves as
       staff of the Institution and the Executive Board.         being less engaged with the class representative
       The Executive Council was identified during               system.
       meetings with the Review Team as one means           3.22 LYIT has introduced the content management
       through which this communication had been                 system Blackboard to support teaching and
       taking place, but meetings were reported to               learning. It appears to be primarily used to post
       have become less frequent. The Review Team                lecture notes, but some lecturers also make
       commends the clear commitment of staff to                 use of its learning tools, including quizzes. The
       LYIT and to its learners and the strong learning          Institute reports that the PPEs carried out in
       community that this commitment creates. In                2016/2017 led to the identification of a need to
       keeping with its previous recommendation, to              examine LYIT’s approach to online and blended
       develop cross-institutional sub-strategies to             learning and to the recognition that capacity
       support the overall strategy of the Institution           building in this area is required. Increasing
       (paragraph 3.10), the Review Team recommends              online and blended learning opportunities
       that the Institute identifies how it can enhance          was referenced to the Review Team on several
       opportunities for institution-wide and cross-             occasions as being an area of interest to the
       functional dialogue on issues of common                   Institute. If LYIT is to pursue this mode of
       interest or shared responsibility. This could             teaching and learning, it will impact on its
       incorporate a review of the function and meeting          quality assurance policies and procedures.
       frequency of the Executive Council and/or other           The Institute is currently in the process of
       enhancements/alternatives.                                reviewing the QA Guidelines for Blended Learning
                                                                 Programmes (QQI, 2018) to identify any gaps
  TEACHING AND LEARNING                                          arising in this regard. The advancement of
  3.21 LYIT has in place procedures for the monitoring           online and blended provision, is a further area
       of the delivery of its programmes. In speaking            of institutional development that would benefit
       to students, the Review Team was satisfied                from a cross-institutional approach and, if a
       that these procedures are being implemented               strategic priority, could be captured in one of
       systematically and provide learners with the              the sub-strategies recommended in paragraph
       opportunity to express their views, both formally         3.10. As noted in paragraph 3.19, and as part
       and informally. The class representative system           of the recommendation therein, the Review
       is maintained and supported by the Students’              Team would also encourage LYIT to support
       Union and it provides a key formal contribution to        this development by capitalising further on the
       the monitoring of programmes. It was reported to          teaching and learning research that many of its
       the Review Team that participation by students in         staff are undertaking, to assist it in ensuring
       the Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE) is          that its pedagogic style incorporates national
       encouraged by LYIT, but it has led to a reduction         and international effective practice (Core QA
       in rates of student responses to internal                 Guidelines, p.13) across all modes of its delivery.
       questionnaires on programmes. The Institute          3.23 In terms of other teaching and learning settings,
       has formed a Student Survey Working Group                 the Institute intends drafting institute guidelines
       that has been proactive in addressing this and            to address work placement. In addition to the

20
Institutional Review Report 2018

     professional placements that are currently part                  and by reviewing and formally reporting on
     of some of its programmes, these guidelines                      examination performance by semester and year.
     will also be relevant to the development of                      Current assessment procedures and processes
     New Apprenticeships, if the Institute pursues                    being implemented by the Institute appear to be
     its intention to explore opportunities in this                   robust. The increasing diversity of programmes
     regard with Donegal ETB. In this context, the                    and students has led to the Institute keeping
     Institute will also need to review its quality                   its assessment processes under continuous
     assurance procedures against the Statutory                       review; it reports that the percentage success in
     Quality Assurance Guidelines developed by                        examinations each year is trending towards 75%
     QQI for Providers of Statutory Apprenticeship                    of students passing all examinations.
     Programmes (2016).                                          3.26 From a regulatory perspective, reports on
3.24 The Teaching and Learning section of the Core                    any breaches of assessment regulations are
     QA Guidelines also addresses complaints and                      submitted annually to the Academic Council.
     appeals. The QA Handbook of LYIT includes a                      Samples of external examiner reports, and how
     Student Charter and comprehensive information                    they are responded to, were also provided to the
     on student entitlements. The Review Team was                     Review Team. In addition, academic staff told the
     provided with the procedures for complaints                      Review Team that the Institute supports their
     and appeals and it was reported to the Review                    acting as External Examiners elsewhere, and that
     Team by staff and students that these are made                   they consider this to be a very useful opportunity
     available to students in the handbook they                       to see other quality assurance systems in
     receive at the point of induction. The Students’                 operation.
     Union described the role it plays in encouraging
     students to seek informal resolution of issues              SUPPORTS FOR LEARNERS
     arising if possible, but also in supporting
                                                                 3.27 As a general statement, the Review Team is
     students in pursuing formal complaints and
                                                                      satisfied from its meetings with all students
     appeals if necessary. Mature and part-time
                                                                      that LYIT provides a supportive environment.
     students were not aware of how they could
                                                                      The responsiveness of staff to students was
     complain or seek an appeal, but they were
                                                                      reported as being high and was also emphasised
     confident that they would be able to acquire this
                                                                      by part-time and international students. 90% of
     information without any difficulty if needed. This,
                                                                      LYIT students that responded to the 2016 ISSE2
     however, was another example of the Head of
                                                                      rated their overall experience of LYIT as good or
     Department being frequently cited as the first
                                                                      excellent. In the 2017 ISSE, LYIT scored half a
     point of contact for these students, when these
                                                                      percentage point below the national average for
     circumstances arise. The Review Team considers
                                                                      ‘Supportive Environment’ and over two points
     that this reinforces the recommendation it
                                                                      higher than the national average for ‘Quality of
     has made to the Institute in paragraph 3.14 to
                                                                      Interactions’.
     introduce the role of course coordinator.
                                                                 3.28 The Institute has placed an increased emphasis
ASSESSMENT OF LEARNERS                                                on the induction of new students to LYIT and
                                                                      intends gathering institutional approaches to the
3.25 The 2009 review of LYIT recommended that the                     first-year experience in an institute guideline.
     Institute review examination patterns to ensure                  This is part of its strategy to identify the aspects
     appropriate levels of assessment, and that it                    of the student experience that need to be
     optimise the timing of examination periods. The                  addressed and to establish how best to monitor
     Institute reports having made advances on this                   the achievement of the intended results.
     recommendation by reviewing and revising its
                                                                 3.29 Another aim of the Institute is to encourage
     modularisation and semesterisation framework,
                                                                      students to be innovative and entrepreneurial by

2    32.5% of LYIT students participated in the 2016 ISSE survey: this percentage figure represents the proportion of target
     student cohorts that responded to at least some survey questions (ISSE Results of 2016, p.95).

                                                                                                                               21
Institutional Review Report 2018

       offering them opportunities to achieve advanced         3.31 The Students’ Union (SU) described for the
       levels of digital literacy and by supporting them            Review Team the support it provides for students
       in their transition to employment. As part of the            on a range of fronts, including in its engagement
       decision to introduce new programmes, and in its             with the student representative system and
       review of existing programmes, an identification             with governance forums. It reported to the
       of required resources is requested. Students                 Review Team that it has been assisted in this
       reported satisfaction with the library resources             work through the active participation of LYIT in
       available to them and noted that requests                    the National Student Engagement Programme
       for reading material or for support in locating              (NStEP); an initiative that is revisited under
       relevant research documentation were readily                 Objective 3 – Quality Enhancement. The SU
       accommodated by staff in the LYIT and Killybegs              and staff also appear to be collaborating well
       campuses. The Review Team equally heard no                   on certain initiatives. The Estates Manager has
       issues being raised regarding IT facilities or other         engaged with the SU regarding facilities and
       programme-specific resources. The Review Team                was invited to meet with class representatives.
       was informed by LYIT that it has secured a share             Students and staff also reported working jointly
       of capital funding from the HEA with which it                on a three-year plan of alcohol-free initiatives for
       intends to realise a learning resource centre,               which it hopes to achieve national accreditation,
       IT and innovation laboratories, online learning              and on an anti-bullying policy.
       delivery rooms, and classrooms.                         3.32 The area of student supports is one in which
  3.30 LYIT’s Learning Support Unit (The Curve) is                  a contrast between the two campuses of LYIT
       evidently well-known and utilised by students.               is inevitably apparent; this is largely due to
       It currently includes a Mathematics Learning                 the distance between the two campuses and
       Centre, a Communications Learning Centre and a               the practical difficulty of students in Killybegs
       Revision Support Initiative. The Curve also delivers,        accessing resources physically situated in
       in partnership with the Department of Law and                Letterkenny. The Review Team is aware that the
       Humanities, two access programmes: a Certificate             staff and Students’ Union of LYIT have sought
       in Preparatory Studies for Higher Education, and             to bridge this gap for students, as far as that
       a Certificate in Access Studies. Several of the              is possible, and intend to continue to expand
       students met by the Review Team spoke of having              these efforts. Although the Review Team was
       availed of the services of The Curve. Examples               at no point made aware of, nor was there any
       included a mature student returning to education,            suggestion of, any fundamental failure in any
       an international student, and a student requiring            aspect of student support at the Killybegs
       assistance in one of the disciplines supported.              campus, or that students were less satisfied
       The Review Team commends the availability                    with the quality of their academic experience
       through the Curve of support for students in                 there, some students in Killybegs did express
       core academic skills throughout their studies in             to the Review Team a sense of missing out in a
       the Institute. During the review visit, the Review           general way on a more comprehensive student
       Team also met with staff delivering pastoral and             experience. The Review Team recommends that
       health care student support functions. Support               the provision of student supports, including
       staff clearly articulated not only how their own             opportunities for social, sport or curricular
       specific areas of support were delivered, but also           interactions within the wider student body and
       how more holistic support plans could be agreed              across sites, forms an integrated sub-strategy
       for individual students through meetings involving           of the Institute (as per its recommendation in
       a number of staff. Based on these discussions,               paragraph 3.10) to ensure that there is sufficient
       supported by the accounts of students, the                   capacity in these areas to meet continued
       Review Team is of the view that LYIT has robust              growth and diversification of the student
       and effective student supports in place in these             population.
       areas.

22
Institutional Review Report 2018

3.33 Finally, the international office of LYIT is                unit) as a matter of priority and aligns it with
     becoming increasingly important to the                      its strategy, planning, monitoring and quality
     Institute’s prioritisation of growth. As noted in           review activities.
     paragraph 1.6, LYIT has 72 non-EU students
     from 15 different countries and an additional 70       PUBLIC INFORMATION AND
     Erasmus students. The Review Team noted that a         COMMUNICATION
     sensible and discerning view was being taken by
                                                            3.36 LYIT has a comprehensive website for public
     the International Office on how best sustainable
                                                                 reference. It clearly indicates for prospective
     growth in this area can be achieved. It also noted
                                                                 learners the qualification to which a programme
     the care, attention and responsibility that is
                                                                 leads, the associated amount of credit, and
     taken for settling international students into LYIT.
                                                                 the level of the qualification on the National
     This includes the introduction of an ambassador
                                                                 Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).
     system where established students support
     new students in orientating them to their new          3.37 The Institute’s quality assurance policy and
     environment. As the international activity in LYIT          procedures are clearly set out on its website in
     grows, there would appear to be emerging areas              an easily accessible format. The current Student
     of best practice in this area.                              Handbook is also available in digital format.
                                                            3.38 LYIT has a policy of publishing the outcomes
INFORMATION AND DATA MANAGEMENT                                  of reviews on its website. It considers that the
                                                                 information derived from its PPE process is
3.34 In terms of the utilisation of data by LYIT to
                                                                 useful to staff, current and prospective students,
     support its quality assurance, review and
                                                                 and other stakeholders. The PPE reports are thus
     enhancement, the primary information system
                                                                 published, as are Programme Validation Reports.
     of LYIT was reported by the Institute as not
     having all the reporting capability it required.       3.39 In terms of its corporate governance, the Institute
     For instance, difficulties were experienced in              has also published Annual Reports and Financial
     consistently extracting data to inform quality              Reports.
     assurance self-evaluation reports. Having easy
     access to data and being able to cross-refer that      OTHER PARTIES INVOLVED IN EDUCATION
     data to assist in evaluation and planning are          AND TRAINING
     recognised by LYIT as being important areas of
                                                            3.40 The location of LYIT has a significant influence
     system development for the Institute, and these
                                                                 on the extent to which the Institute collaborates.
     will feature in its next strategic plan.
                                                                 Its location also determines the student
3.35 Aside from difficulties experienced in the                  population that is available to LYIT and has
     presentation of data from an information system             encouraged the Institute to create models of
     perspective, the Institute is in possession of              partnership within and outside the region. The
     significant amounts of data, as is evidenced                Institute has included Procedures and Guidelines
     through the data tables presented in its ISER. It           Governing Collaborative Programmes in its QA
     is also in receipt of data derived from national            Handbook in the last two years. It anticipates
     sources, including from the HEA, and from                   that collaboration in programme development
     the outcomes of the Irish Survey of Student                 and research will be a focus of its Strategic
     Engagement (ISSE). The Institute informed the               Plan 2018-2022. LYIT is not currently engaged in
     Review Team that it intends to maximise its                 transnational education or awarding.
     capacity to interpret this data by introducing
                                                            3.41 LYIT has established documented agreements
     an Institutional Research Office; essentially a
                                                                 with Donegal Education and Training Board
     central data unit. As the Institute enters its next
                                                                 (DETB) and with the North-West Regional
     stage of development, with its ambitions for
                                                                 College (NWRC) in neighbouring Derry, to develop
     further growth and diversity, the Review Team
                                                                 progression pathways for learners wishing to
     recommends that the Institute introduces the
                                                                 pursue higher education; LYIT’s engagement of a
     Institutional Research Office (central data

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