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2016 Press Releases

UCC academics to shape future of education in China

20 Oct 2016
Dr Marian McCarthy, UCC: The ultimate goal is to create a climate in China where all faculty will have an opportunity to get a qualification in teaching and learning in higher education.

University College Cork (UCC) is poised for strong growth in Chinese student numbers as two of its leading academics this week share their insights on becoming better university teachers in Beijing. 

Professor Áine Hyland and Dr Marian McCarthy from UCC will showcase the university’s successful approach to teaching in a series of workshops at Beijing’s Renmin University of China, one of the most prestigious in the country, to senior higher education figures from 30 universities across China.

Professor Hyland and Dr McCarthy, both internationally-renowned experts in teaching and learning, will share their expertise on developing China’s educational policies and programmes for academic staff to become better university teachers.

“The ultimate goal is to create a climate in China where all faculty will have an opportunity to get a qualification in teaching and learning in higher education,” said Dr McCarthy.

“In fact, acquiring qualifications in teaching and learning is likely to become mandatory.”

UCC holds a unique place in Ireland’s Higher Education sector; 70% of its academic staff have a formal qualification in Teaching and Learning, coordinated through UCC’s Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL). This figure far exceeds national targets and sets the benchmark for other universities across Ireland.

Professor John O’Halloran, Vice President for Teaching and Learning, UCC, said: “UCC is recognised globally for its expertise in teaching, not only in Ireland as recognised recently by the Sunday Times University of the Year 2017 award, but across the world, including China.”

“Over the past two years, more than 100 Chinese faculty have travelled to UCC to take courses in Teaching, Learning and English as part of its Programme for Visiting Lecturers and this week’s workshops are about further developing this relationship and collaboration.”

According to Professor O’Halloran, this initiative supports UCC’s overall internationalisation mission and provides great opportunities for research and knowledge exchange. “Where faculty go, students usually follow. We hope that we will have further Chinese students visiting UCC as a result of this workshop.”

 In the workshop, faculty will be shown how to make teaching and learning visible, to document and reflect on their work and to look for the evidence of student learning. This approach to Teaching and Learning is at the heart of activities at UCC, which prides itself on being a University that showcases research-based teaching.

The workshop, the outcome of a longstanding relationship between UCC and China in relation to staff development in Teaching and Learning, is part a larger Chinese Education Expo event in Beijing, at which Ireland is a country of honour.

University College Cork

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