Professor Eugene Wall, President of MIC and Aisling Cusack, President of MISU pictured at the signing
The Student Learning and Partnership Dialogue Charter is a bipartite agreement between MIC and the Mary Immaculate College Students’ Union (MISU), the representative body for the students of MIC.
A new student charter published this week at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) has been heralded as a ‘wonderful example of dual dialogue’ by Minister Niall Collins.
Mary Immaculate College, founded in 1898, is a University-level College of Education and the Liberal Arts, academically linked with the University of Limerick. The College is a multi-campus institution, with campuses in Limerick and Thurles, and a student population of over 5,000 students enrolled in undergraduate programmes in Primary and Post-Primary Education, Liberal Arts and Early Childhood Care and Education, as well as a range of postgraduate programmes at Diploma, MA and PhD levels.
And, the Student Learning and Partnership Dialogue Charter which is a bipartite agreement between MIC and the Mary Immaculate College Students’ Union (MISU), the representative body for the students of MIC, now aims to outline the commitments, expectations, responsibilities and underpinning dialogue processes between the College and its students.
The overarching objective of this pioneering new charter is to facilitate student success.
Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
Commenting on the Charter Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Niall Collins TD said: “As the Minister of State with responsibility for Higher Education, I welcome this fantastic initiative and the spirit of cooperation it seeks to promote between students and the College itself. The Student Learning and Partnership Dialogue Charter is a wonderful example of how dual dialogue and cooperation can benefit all involved. In their work to continue their renowned care for the highest student experience, Mary Immaculate College are testament to and an example of the high quality of education and care that Ireland’s third level students can expect to receive."
The charter, which replaces the current Student Charter, also acknowledges that the landscape of higher education is never static; rather it is dynamic and ever changing for students and the College.
Professor Niamh Hourigan, Vice-President of Academic Affairs at MIC, said: “Relationships between students and staff are the central axis of community life here at Mary Immaculate College. Creating formal structures which facilitate and support dialogue and partnership between students and other stakeholders in the MIC community is the next logical step in the process of generating 'A Flourishing Learning Community' as outlined in our strategic plan.”
She added, “We are justifiably proud of our new Student Partnership and Dialogue Charter and believe that it provides a model for best practice across the HEI sector in Ireland.”
The MIC Learning Partnership and Dialogue Charter has been developed, in the spirit of collegiality, through a lengthy scoping and consultation period with institution wide stakeholders. MISU have been key partners in the process and have supported the development of the new Learning Partnership and Dialogue Charter from the outset.
Speaking on behalf of MIC’s Students’ Union, President of MISU, Aisling Cusack, believes the charter will play a significant role in supporting the delivery of a high-quality student experience and will contribute to the academic and personal successes of students at both MIC Limerick and MIC Thurles. She said, “MISU is delighted to be co-signatories on the Learning Partnership and Dialogue Charter on behalf of the students of MIC. Over the last number of months, we have worked in partnership with the College on this important document. On behalf of MISU, I am proud to have been a part of this process which outlines the commitments, expectations and responsibilities of both MIC and the student body.”
MIC St Patrick's Thurles Campus
According to Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children: “This initiative from Mary Immaculate College is an excellent template for how dialogue and engagement should be fostered, built upon and maintained. The Student Learning and Partnership Dialogue Charter will provide all the new students, some of who are our future teachers, with a template for how to engage with the children in their lives whether that is in their professional or private lives. It shows a determination to recognise that the best systems are built by working together with those who will be served by that system and continuously listening to and respecting their views.”