Letterkenny Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 372-380
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
With the recovery of the global economy, organizations are focusing again on growth. This in turn is causing senior executives globally in all industries to acknowledge the need to brush up on their skills. In addition, executive education in Ireland is increasingly being recognized by many organizations (in both the public and private sector industries) as an essential tool for developing their executives. The underlying suggestion being that it can improve executive decision-making by creating and transmitting knowledge, which in turn has a positive effect on organizational performance. As a HEI (Higher Education Institution) based in the North-West of Ireland, LYIT (Letterkenny Institute of Technology) has designed two executive post-graduate programs in recent years in conjunction with the public and private sector industries. Each of these programs incorporate the differing needs of both the public and private sector industries. In designing the curricula for these programs, a comprehensive collaborative process involving the relevant stakeholders was initiated. This collaborative process was and is evolutionary and continuous in nature. In this paper, the authors explores endeavors by LYIT to work collaboratively with both the public and private sector industries. This is explored through secondary research, including data sourced within LYIT, and primary research developed in collaboration with industry. Secondary research was used to analyze the design of the two programs in question. The source of this information was from literature relating to the area of interest and the relevant program submission documents from LYIT. This also involved analysis of the research carried out at the pre-design stage for these programs. The primary research was carried out in conjunction with the Periodic Program Evaluation process at LYIT with a view to exploring how to better align the programs curricula with public and private sector industry needs. A number of key findings have emerged from this research. Most notably, HEIs do not exist in a vacuum. Academic theory is continually being adjusted to reflect the role of other stakeholders in curriculum design. Collaboration with relevant stakeholders should become an integral part of any curriculum design. The research also confirmed findings from other reports internationally that whilst technical expertise is still important, soft skills are becoming more in demand for individuals moving into senior executive positions. In addition, different industries have varying needs. Therefore, the involvement of industry in the design of curriculum is vital. It is also essential to develop customized curriculum to meet the needs of the individual student and industry. Indeed this is also confirmed by other national reports highlighting that customized programs, designed especially for individual companies, have presented the strongest growth over the past three years. There should also be opportunities for critical reflection throughout the academic program for student, industry and the HEI. Collaboration between industry and HEIs is essential in dynamically designing new and ever-changing curricula in order to address student and industry requirements going forward.
Industry, Higher Education Institution (HEI), Curriculum Design, Collaboration, Executive Education.