The Technological University of the Shannon are opening a number of ‘TUS Learning Gates’ at locations throughout the Midlands region and beyond, ensuring higher education opportunities are available to those living and working in these locations.
The ‘TUS Learning Gate’, a concept introduced by Dr Michael Tobin, Dean of Faculty of Continuing, Professional, Online and Distance Learning, seeks to formally establish a location/space where TUS students and academic staff may meet and learn together, through the provision of one of the many online programmes provided by the Faculty of Continuing, Professional, Online and Distance Learning at TUS Athlone Campus.
The ‘TUS Learning Gate’ represents a space where TUS lecturers may deliver their lectures online, where students may study and access the TUS library online, where students may view their online lectures, meet to discuss projects, and/or complete group work based on the requirements of the programme that they are taking with the University. The objective to enable students’ study and work locally, yet have a learning space to go to that is warm, comfortable and set up to meet their needs.
“The TUS Learning Gate locations are all ideally located, and organised as a remote working hub with desks and offices already in place, enabling students to have some of the third level experience in their local towns. Additionally, it minimises the necessity to travel to Athlone when attempting to seek out a quiet and professional space in which to work.
“The concept arose from student/lecturer feedback commenting that online learning students were often meeting in hotel foyers for groupwork, that their local broadband wasn’t good enough or that they had no quiet place to study or to access their online classes. However, all of this is now solved with this progressive partnership between a number of remote working hubs and TUS, where together they are opening the ’TUS Learning Gate’, thereby resolving those issues for those living in these regions and their surrounding area,” Dr Tobin stated.
TUS intends to partner with many more remote working centres throughout the wider Midlands and Midwest region and beyond. Throughout the month of October the faculty are officially launching weekly new partnerships with remote working hubs both regionally and nationally delivering TUS Learning Gates across the counties of Westmeath, Longford, Laois, Offaly, Roscommon and Galway, ensuring that those of us living in the midlands can access and engage with flexible part-time online learning programmes, as offered through the Technological University of the Shannon.
The ‘TUS Learning Gate’ is made available to students by each designated hub as it seeks to ensure that their region has a Higher Education facility. Going forward, it is anticipated that a suite of programmes and services will be offered through the partnership, to support and assist those accessing each centre as a remote working location.
“The objective of the ‘TUS Learning Gate’ is to bring the delivery of Higher Education to these regions, to ensure that those living and working in these localities can access flexible part-time higher education programmes, as delivered by TUS locally. This will go some way towards supporting these regions social, business and industrial communities through the provision of access to appropriate skilled staff, through either upskilling or re-skilling opportunities, to be made available through the partnership between each remote working hub and TUS and locally enabled by the ‘TUS Learning Gate’ concept,” Professor Vincent Cunnane, president of the Technological University of the Shannon, added.
In recent years, TUS have been very successful in receiving funding through the Springboard+, HCI and ICT Skills initiatives, all initiatives that make learning and upskilling available to many cohorts of people (employed, unemployed and other ) on a part time flexible basis. In the current academic year, the University has over 2000 students, predominantly adults studying their range of programmes each week from all 32 counties availing of their range of part-time flexible programmes delivered in an online learning mode across disciplines including Business, Law, Leadership, Quality and Lean, Logistics, Packaging, Executive Management and many more. And, indeed going forward these students would like to see Learning Gates established in all counties.
The ‘TUS Learning Gate’ concept represents a facility specifically for those students, as they wish to work and study with fellow students in a professional environment, with access to a dedicated desk and wi-fi.
The official opening of the ‘TUS Learning Gates’ takes place throughout dates in October. For details on the event please contact Mr Declan Doran at the Technological University of the Shannon at [email protected] or on 09064 83050.