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Enterprise Engagement and Experiential Learning Group

INTRODUCTION

The E3L research group focuses on the area of engagement interactions between higher education institutions and external organizations, with a particular focus on experiential learning.  The main interest of the research is the exploration of practice and policy in higher education to explore, support, grow and connect the full range of engagement interactions between higher education and enterprise and community groups.  The group has a considerable and growing record in contributions to policy and practice and a range of publications over many years including journal articles, conference papers and reports.

This research group builds on existing experience and expertise as well as provides a focal point to align existing work distributed throughout the institution. The research group proposes to focus on the area of engagement, interactions between higher education institutions and external organisations, with a particular focus on experiential learning. The main interest of the research group will be on the exploration of practice and policy in higher education to explore, support and grow engagement interactions and underpin practice in work-based and experiential learning through a reflective consideration of structures and systems.

By proposing and publishing a codification of higher education-enterprise engagement framework, the E3L group has developed a unique mechanism of mapping engagement interactions in order to inform higher education strategy and policy. Since 2006 CIT has been the lead partner in a number of HEA-Funded Strategic Innovation Fund Projects at the interface between Academia and Enterprise.

There is currently no other research group in CIT which engages in research into the specificscholarship of higher education engagement with external public, private and not-for-profit enterprise for the purposes of informing practice in higher education and informing policy at regional, nationaland international level or experiential learning.

The Hincks Centre aims to ‘promote and provide entrepreneurship training and education’ and to foster the entrepreneurial mindset and to ‘identify key gaps in current research on entrepreneurship in the Irish context and will utilise these outputs to inform national policy and strategy’ (http://www.cit.ie/hincks).

The group is affiliated to the Academic Quality Enhancement Unit with close linkages to the External Affairs Functional area and the academic schools and constituent colleges. As it supports the development of practice and policy in higher education it will have relevance to all academic and research units in the institute. It does ‘cut across defined disciplinary lines’ as this research into how higher education can, and should, interact with external organizations has the same relevance to educators in, for instance, Art Therapy, Hospitality Management and Mechanical Engineering.