Priorlearning.ie is brought to you by the National RPL in Higher Education Project. This project is a collaborative initiative working to embed and expand RPL across 14 partner higher education institutions. The project is funded by the Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3 (Innovation and Agility) and co-sponsored by the Technological Higher Education Association and the Irish Universities Association.

An empty university hall with rows of seats and tables.
Header decoration

About the National RPL in Higher Education Project

The National Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in Higher Education Project is a five-year project, funded by the Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3 (Innovation and Agility) and co-sponsored by the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) and the Irish Universities Association (IUA). The project has three main aims, which are:

  1. to continue to embed, streamline and promote RPL, particularly the recognition of  non-formal and informal learning, across the sector in a manner that is coherent and consistent;
  2. to work with employers to increase access and progression opportunities in areas of skills needs;
  3. to enhance the sector’s capacity to operate RPL by developing useful tools, materials, resources and professional development opportunities for staff.

The project is co-ordinated by a Project Management Office based in THEA, with 18 Project Leads leading the roll out of the project across 14 technological universities, universities and institutes of technology.

Strategic guidance is provided by the Project Steering Group which draws its membership from senior sectoral leaders, enterprise and learner representatives, and national and international RPL experts. 

Project Management Office

Grace Edge

Project Director

Dr. Clare Walsh

Head of Staff Development

Martin Dwan

Digital Engagement & Communications Officer

HEI Project Leads


Technological University of the Shannon

Jan Cairns

Technological University Dublin

Karina Curley

Dublin City University

Lyndsey El Amoud

University College Cork

Sarah Johnston

Atlantic Technological University, Sligo

Margaret Finch

Munster Technological University, Kerry

Dr. Graham Glanville

Trinity College Dublin

Deirdre Goggin

Munster Technological University, Cork

Suzanne Golden

University of Galway

Dr. Sandra Joyce

University of Limerick

Olive Kelly

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Carol Lynch

Maynooth University

Christine McCabe

Atlantic Technological University, Donegal

Marian O'Connor

University College Dublin

Aishling O'Toole

South East Technological University, Waterford

Rebecca Roper

Institute of Art, Design & Technology

Dr. Philip Scanlon

Dundalk Institute of Technology

Dr. Ciara Staunton

University College Cork


South East Technological University, Carlow

RPL Steering Group

Prof. Ross Anderson

Associate Vice-President Academic Affairs and Student Engagement
University of Limerick

David Denieffe

Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Registrar
SETU, Carlow

Dr. Josephine Finn

RPL Expert

Dr. Michael Hannon

Head of the Galway-Mayo College & Registrar
Atlantic Technological University

Simon Hanratty

Chief Information Officer
Irish Life

Marin Johnson

RPL Expert

Prof. Paul McSweeney

Vice-President, Learning and Teaching
University College Cork

Frances O'Connell

Vice-President Student Education and Experience
Technological University of the Shannon

Róisín O'Connell

Head of Communications
Technological Higher Education Association

Lewis Purser

Director of Learning & Teaching and Academic Affairs
Irish Universities Association

Prof. Irene Sheridan

Head of Extended Campus
Munster Technological University

Prof. Martine Smith

The Dean of Graduate Studies
Trinity College Dublin