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A Policy Trajectory Analysis of the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 in Ireland - An Institutes of Technology Perspective

Ó hAnnracháin, Ciarán P. (2018) A Policy Trajectory Analysis of the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 in Ireland - An Institutes of Technology Perspective. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 was commissioned by the Higher Education Authority and was published in 2011 under the chair of Colin Hunt. The National Strategy, along with policy implementation and review documents, makes some radical proposals for the reconfiguration of the HE landscape in Ireland with much of the focus on the restructuring of the non-university sector, particularly the fourteen Institutes of Technology (IoTs), while maintaining a “binary divide”. The reform agenda has provided many challenges to the Institutes of Technology sector, and a policy trajectory approach to policy analysis is adopted to investigate the proposed changes to the Institutes of Technology sector. The tensions and shift in power dynamics are key elements to the process of reform in what is a contested space. These tensions are explored from the perspective of the Institutes of Technology sector through a process of critical discourse analysis conducted in the policy document and semi-structured interviews with key policy stakeholders. A historical policy review of the evolution of the non-university sector in Ireland, alternative models in the European Higher Education Area and alternative proposals to the Hunt Report are used as counterpoints to frame the analysis. The analysis revealed that while the Report was initially broadly welcomed, the proposals and their implementation are far more complex and contentious, and there is less cohesion, particularly in the Institutes of Technology, on how the sector can ensure parity of esteem with, and a distinctive mission from, the traditional university sector.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Ciarán P. Ó hAnnracháin
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2019 12:44
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2019 12:44
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23263

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