Document Type

Article

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

Business and Management.

Publication Details

Teaching and Learning Centre: Dublin Institute of Technology January 2013

Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to investigate the nature of part-time student provision within DIT, using policy and strategy documents. The purpose was also to investigate the needs of part-time students and following these considerations provide recommendations for the future development of part-time student education at DIT as part of the Masters in Education - Education Policy Module.

The first section of this paper examines the background and context of part-time and flexible learning opportunities in the literature. It makes comparisons between the numbers following part-time education programmes as opposed to full-time education programmes and highlights that only 18% of students studying at DIT in 2010 – 2011 were studying part-time.

The next section analyses the opportunities and challenges in the provision of part-time education and suggests that there are a number of avenues available in the delivery of part-time education which include; the time it takes to complete a programme of study, blocking of modules, and summer schools as opportunities. However, this paper also presents the challenges impacting on part-time education and reviews the challenges for students and the challenges facing the Dublin Institute of Technology in the provision of part-time education. The deepening recession, lack of resources and the financial constraints appear to be major challenges.

Section three presents the needs of part-time and life-long learning students and highlight the profile of the typical part-time student at DIT. This was carried out from an analysis of existing literature and from a number of research studies carried out on part-time education in DIT. The reasons students partake in part-time education are documented and include the need to develop skills to enhance a career, develop skills to change career or to begin a career as driving forces for returning to part-time education. The circumstances where students’ needs are not met are highlighted in this section. An analysis of the benefits of part-time education is also highlighted.

Conclusions are drawn to this research paper and some future recommendations are provided where it is suggested that an integrated application and registration systems platform be developed for part-time students, a dedicated registration desk be open on each campus during the first month of study for part-time programmes and that a timely implementation of the communications plan for part-time programmes be carried out.

DOI

10.21427/D79F40

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