Atlantic Technological University Sligo (ATU Sligo) have been shortlisted in the .IE Digital Town Awards in the Digital Education category. The nomination for the newly formed university is for the Innovative Opportunities Transforming Education (iNOTE) Project and Digital Local Hero Project.
The .IE Digital Town Awards have been developed to address digital enhancement and adoption in Ireland. The Awards promote awareness, knowledge, use and understanding of digital in Ireland by its citizens, businesses and communities. They also highlight the benefits and possibilities of digital and celebrate the digital achievements of local towns, big and small.
The Awards Ceremony will be a virtual event and will take place on Wednesday 8th June.
iNOTE, a collaborative higher education project, recognises the challenge of providing flexible learning opportunities and support for students in the West and North-West of Ireland. The project team harnessed ATU Sligo’s 20 years of experience teaching online to develop a range of digitally enhanced student supports for ATU’s diverse and dispersed students.
Louise Kearins, Online Learning Project Manager and iNOTE Student Support Project Lead at ATU Sligo, is delighted with a nomination:
“Through the iNOTE project, the ATU has built the infrastructure to support students to enhance their digital capabilities, academic life, and wellbeing throughout their learning journey. We are delighted the ATU project, Innovative Opportunities Transforming Education (iNOTE), has been selected as a Digital Education finalist in the .IE Digital Town Awards”.
Brian Mulligan, Head of Online Learning and Innovation at ATU Sligo, was nominated for the Local Hero award. He said:
“There are huge numbers of talented young people around the world who have no access to higher education. Ireland has an excellent educational system and has in the past brought that education to those elsewhere in the world who needed it. Technology is now giving us the opportunity to do that once more”.
Through his leadership, ATU Sligo has become the most prominent provider of online higher education, with more online than on-campus students. With courses to support upskilling or a new career direction, these industry-focused courses meet the needs of both local and national employers. The part-time courses use Brian’s original learning model of live delivery with recorded sessions to allow students to meet their lectures and clarify their learning. This learning model is flexible and personable, ensuring student engagement and success.
ATU Sligo have over 30,000 online learning graduates and over 150 part-time online courses across Science, Business and Social Sciences, Engineering and Design. Additionally, in 2019, ATU Sligo created a new learning model for the CAO, full-time online undergraduate courses. The BA in Writing and Literature (Hons) Level 8 (SG254) and the BSc in Health and Medical Information Science Level 7 (SG530) courses enable full-time students to participate in undergraduate from their own homes.
By 2029, the Irish higher education sector will be required to accommodate a projected 20% increase in the student population. The majority of the ‘new’ learners are predicted to be mature, lifelong learners.