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HCI 3 RPL in Higher Education

Overview and aims

The objective of the HCI 3 Recognition of Prior Learning and Lifelong Learning in Higher Education Project is to build a consistent and coherent approach to the recognition of prior learning (RPL) within and across the entire public higher education (HE) sector. It is an innovative collaboration between all Institutes of Technology, Universities and Technological Universities, and has transformative potential for Ireland’s education system to become an international leader in RPL.

The project aims to deliver a national framework for RPL in higher education which will encompass systems, processes and tools. A cornerstone of the project is HE- enterprise engagement and more specifically on the upskilling, reskilling or up-qualifying those in the workplace with prior learning. MTU Cork is represented by Deirdre Goggin, Extended Campus Cork.

Specific objectives

  • Develop and implement a learner-centred National Recognition of Prior Learning Framework to grow RPL opportunities and support service enhancement across the participating HEIs 
  • Engage Enterprise Partners to understand the higher education needs of employees and identify RPL opportunities
  • Develop a National Online Platform to provide centralised information for diverse users 
  • Expand Communities of RPL Practice in HEIs and enhance capacity through the provision of a suite of training tools, materials and resources
  • Develop a National RPL Dataset to monitor/report on progress and inform policy
  • Develop national and local Communications Campaigns to promote RPL opportunities and increase the numbers of admissions on the basis of RPL


This is a four year project which is due to conclude in April 2025.

MTU Role

As one of the 19 institutional leads, MTU is responsible for contributing to the initial review and analysis of the current practice of RPL within higher education and in the identification of requirements within higher education for the enhancement of practice of Recognition of Prior Learning with enterprise. As an institution with extensive experience of external engagement, MTU is a member of the RPL and enterprise working group which is focused on capturing existing and ongoing engagement with enterprise on RPL. Staff of MTU are also contributing to the sharing of practice and insights of engaging with enterprise incorporating prior and work based learning through institutional case studies. The university is part of the external expert review panel of the initial framework which will then be reviewed by institutional leads, senior institutional management and the national project steering board with the intention that this framework will guide practice during institutional pilots and be further refined during the lifetime of the project.

Intended outputs

The project aims to develop a framework for the implementation of RPL with enterprise for higher education, to pilot and refine the framework through interactions with enterprise partners. The project is also focused on developing a tool-kit for higher education to structure RPL with a particular focus on enterprise engagement. Dissemination of the outputs and achievements of the project are also central to the activity of the project to increase awareness of RPL amongst institutional staff, enterprise and society in general.

Futher information on the project is available here