The Learning Innovation Network (LIN) has welcomed the findings and publication of the report to the European Commission on improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions. The high Level Group who prepared the report was chaired by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese.  We also welcome that the report contains recommendations for all stakeholders of higher education including HE institutions, policy makers and public authorities.

We are very encouraged that the statement “teaching matters as much as research matters” is reiterated through the report and that the recent efforts in Ireland of establishing the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education had been noted by the authors.

The substance of the report endorses the goals and priorities of LIN since 2007.  In particular as LIN’s core activity is developing and supporting Academic Professional Development (APD) in order to have a positive impact on the student experience.  We previously welcomed the publication of the Hunt report and stated that we were in a strong position to implement some of the recommendations it contained, particularly those relating to staff development[1].  This report echoes some of the priorities in Hunt and we welcome that.  It consolidates the importance of our project goals and provides direction for those at policy and governmental level.  While the accredited professional development opportunities available through the LIN framework are not mandatory they are available to staff across the 13 IoT’s and DIT.  Through the LIN framework we believe that we can make a significant contribution to make to the implementation of recommendations 4 and 11 in Ireland. Parallel to the LIN APD programmes some institutes have developed their own APD awards. This means that APD is a coherent element of continuous professional development in the Institute of Technology sector.

We believe that the APD provided through LIN enables participants to have an impact on other recommendations such as those relating to enhancing the enterprising and innovative skills of our students and to ensure that students can access the counselling, guidance and mentoring supports they may need as they proceed through and beyond the HE system.

LIN would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the prioritisation of teaching as outlined in this report, should it become policy at European and national level.