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Jan Cairns is the Project Lead for the National RPL Project at TU Dublin.
Jan is Academic Quality Advisor at TU Dublin and was Quality Assurance Officer at one of its predecessor institutions, the Dublin Institute of Technology, since 1999. Prior to returning to Ireland, Jan worked in similar roles in universities in the UK, having worked in publishing prior to that.
In TU Dublin Jan’s role focuses on advising academic staff, schools and professional services on quality matters and guiding them through the quality assurance and enhancement processes such as programme validations and reviews. She has significant experience in institutional quality reviews in the UK both from the institutional point of view and as working with a Higher Education Quality Council (predecessor to the Quality Assurance Agency) Audit Panel. Similarly in Ireland, Jan has also been involved in steering institutional reviews at DIT and also recently at TU Dublin where she contributed significantly to TU Dublin’s Institutional Self-Evaluation Report as part of its recent CINNTE review.
For Jan, the key benefit of RPL is how it supports learners who may not have engaged significantly in education to realise that they do in fact have substantial knowledge, skills and experience achieved through their work and personal lives. In particular, the impact that RPL can make on these learners and their entry and progress through higher education, and their self-esteem, personal motivation as well as their careers is of great benefit to the individuals concerned, and also to higher education institutions and society as a whole.