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Higher Education 4.0 Launch

€12.4 million Higher Education Transformation Project Launched

Higher Education 4.0 launched today at the Atlantic Technological University. This €12.4 million project funded under the Human Capital Initiative, is designed to transform the way adult learners and employers engage with third level education. By developing a new suite of tools and services Higher Education 4.0 will enable greater access to third level education, enhance partnerships with employers, and meet more diverse student needs.

Although only in its infancy, the project has already generated some significant outputs including:

  • Free Instructional Design Learning Resources (Available via
  • Two New Special Purpose Awards (Logistics and Marketing and Business Models and Emerging Technologies), which will have their first intakes in September 2022
  • Higher Education 4.0 Enterprise Engagement Seminar – bringing together stakeholders across business, industry bodies and community groups to discuss employer and employee needs and the alignment of industry, academia, government, and community.

The project is spilt into two distinct services: An outward facing ‘Career and Learning Pathways’ Hub, will support Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL – to recognise learning achieved outside formal academic qualifications) and provide free careers/study advisory services, the Hub is focused on accessibility and future proofing learners with employment/industry relevant skills. This will be informed by regular engagement with employers, through ongoing monitoring of available courses, and will also develop a service to advise individuals on the learning pathways available to them to achieve their career objectives or improve their employability.

Secondly an internal facing innovation service aims to build an agile system to allow Atlantic TU to respond quickly to employer and learner needs in an efficient, and cost-effective way. This will be achieved by facilitating academic teams in developing innovative new learning methods such as, work-based and project-based learning, micro-credentials, and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses (free)), to provide a diverse portfolio of programmes to appeal to different learning groups.  A significant part of this project will be dedicated to developing evidence-based recommendations for policy, regulation, and process changes.

Professor Jacqueline McCormack, Higher Education Project Lead says, “Higher Education 4.0 will help to transform how learners access education; how we, as educators, develop and deliver course material to best suit a diverse range of learners, and how we engage with industry to deliver skills for today’s rapidly changing work environment.” 

Speaking at the launch Dr Orla Flynn, President of Atlantic Technological University, says “This project showcases what can be achieved through the combination of innovation and a genuine ambition of making third level education an accessible place for all types of learners. By engaging with a wider range of learners and employers and providing a more enriched educational experience we will ensure that our students graduate equipped with 21st century employability skills.”

The project is funded by the Human Capital Initiative under Pillar 3: Innovation and Agility.   

About Atlantic Technological University:

Atlantic Technological University (ATU) is one of the largest multi-campus universities on the island of Ireland, serving a diverse group of learners, staff, communities and organisations from our region and further afield.

Atlantic TU offers a rich combination of academic and research excellence, quality of life and opportunity – all of which can be experienced in the most beautiful part of Ireland. 

Atlantic TU will have the critical mass and academic depth to attract, educate, nurture and retain talent in the west, north-west and cross-border region. Our collaborative approach ensures that we deliver practice-orientated study, and research that seeks to address the major challenges facing society and the world. 

As a northern and western multi-campus technological university, we are dedicated to enabling sustainable economic, social and cultural development; connected to our region and with a mindset that reaches far beyond it. As a TU of scale, quality and impact, the University will have greater capacity for collaboration with international partners and ATU graduates will have excellent employment potential nationally and internationally.

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