Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is one of eight third-level institutions worldwide to participate in a new Erasmus+ project that aims to reform tertiary education in Thailand. ReCap 4.0, which is led by the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, is specifically geared towards the professional development of teachers of engineering and technology. As part of the project, MIC will develop a suite of professional development programmes focusing on innovative teaching methods and active learning.
The three-year project, which is designed to support Thailand's sustainable smart industry by improving the quality of education at Thailand’s third-level institutions, has been allocated funding of just under €1 million from the European Union. The project also aims to enhance cooperation across different regions of the world and in addition to MIC’s involvement, the project will include participation from third-level institutions in Portugal and Romania, as well as throughout Thailand.
While most of the professional development programmes will take place online, there is provision for Thai teachers to visit MIC’s Limerick campus over the course of the three-year project. These teachers will then use the knowledge and skills gained to support colleagues from other third-level institutions in Thailand.
Welcoming MIC’s involvement in the ReCap 4.0 project, Professor Michael Healy, Vice-President of Research at MIC, noted that engaging in this kind of capacity building project in Thailand is a worthwhile opportunity for MIC, which supports the Global Outlook pillar of MIC’s Strategic Plan by strengthening the College’s network of partnerships around the world.
Professor Emer Ring, Dean of Education at MIC, said, “This project will add further and greatly enrich MIC’s commitment to continuing to further the three interconnected roles of higher education delineated in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 related to teaching and learning, research, and engagement with the wider society. MIC will draw, in particular, on its teacher education expertise for the further education sector.”
Director of Continuing Professional Development, Dr Cathal De Paor, will co-ordinate the ReCap 4.0 project at MIC and deliver the professional development programmes along with colleagues in the Faculty of Education. He said, “These professional development programmes, developed and delivered by MIC, will focus on the constructive alignment between teaching, learning and assessment. This is a great opportunity for us – and a first working with Thailand – to enrich our own work, particularly our teacher education programmes for the further education sector.”
Professor Emer Ring congratulated Dr De Paor for his work on this project and also welcomed the opportunity for MIC’s Faculty of Education to work with the project leader, Dr Pisut Koomsap (pictured above), and the project team from the Asian Institute of Technology on issues of common interest in learning and teaching.
The eight partners in the project consortium are Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand); Mary Immaculate College (Ireland), University of Minho (Portugal); University Politechnica (Romania); Khon Kaen University (Thailand); Prince of Songkla University (Thailand), Mahidol University (Thailand); and King Mongkut's University of Technology, North Bangkok (Thailand).
Further information about ReCap 4.0 can be found here.