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Griffith College hosts Student Led Learning National Symposium

Transition and Retention the focus in Further and Higher Education
Students from Training and Education Faculty

On June 11th Griffith College’s Faculty of Training and Education hosted a National Symposium on Student Led Learning (SLL) focused on retention, engagement and transition initiatives for Further and Higher Education. Head of the Faculty, Fiona O’Riordan, said “Griffith College are very excited to host this important event because learner retention and progression are issues that are close to our heart. We are proud to have a large and diverse, national and international learner population. Helping them to transition into higher education is of paramount importance to us, as it is to all providers of higher education”.

SLL is a national special interest group which is funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching.  Student Led Learning (SLL) is focused on retention, engagement and the learners’ transition to Further and Higher Education. Ms Nuala Harding of AIT, and SLL project leader said “The aim of the SLL group is to support HEI’s, FE and Secondary School members to assist with the learners’ transition into and throughout Higher Education.  The SLL project was set up to assist members and empower students to support each other and learn co-operatively. The SLL resources developed will help address the knowledge gaps that exist in HEI’s in designing and developing retention initiatives that work and will have a real impact on student engagement”.

The SLL National Symposium provides a showcase for the education resources developed by the SLL Committee members including and provided a mix of formats including keynote address, networking opportunities and round-table discussion on best practice and innovative thinking for student retention and transition to Further and Higher Education, among other topics within that sphere.

Dr. Carla Ginty of GMIT, and SLL Project Leader said, “Student retention, engagement and transition has become an extremely important theme at national and local level across Higher Education, Further Education and for Secondary Schools.”

Through the dissemination and sharing of our SLL resources online, we can help address the national challenges Higher Education Institutes face in retaining students, keeping them on track, empowering them and motivating them throughout their learning journey”, she concluded.

The Symposium also showcased national research projects including: Student non-completion; Teaching for Transitions; Transition from Second Level and Further Education to Third Level; Impact of Learner Support Initiatives.

Keynote speakers include: Professor Liz Thomas, Director of the What Works? Student retention and success change programme in the UK; Ms Eve Lewis, Head of SPARQS (Student Participation in Scotland); and Mr Pat Maunsell, Irish Colleges of Further Education (from LCFE).

The SLL national committee members include representation from Griffith College Dublin, GMIT, AIT, IT Sligo, UL, Trinity College Dublin, NUI Maynooth, WIT, CIT, Institute of Guidance Counsellors, Limerick College FE, IADT, AHEAD, ICOS and HECA.

All SLL project Outputs are available online from June 11th at To access the materials, members will register their details on