Elvio Rafael Malawene

The process of engaging with RPL not only provided me with a new perspective on my capabilities and accomplishments but also highlighted the importance of recognising individual journeys and unique strengths.

Elvio Malawene, RPL Learner, Maynooth University
Elvio Rafael Malawene, MEd in Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University

Transitioning from a Portuguese-speaking country with differing qualification standards initially posed a challenge to my acceptance, but through the recognition of prior learning experiences, I successfully navigated this hurdle. Before embarking on my journey to third-level education, I had been immersed in the field of education, dedicating myself to making a positive impact and empowering individuals through learning. The motivation to explore third-level education stemmed from my desire to enhance my knowledge and skills, enabling me to contribute more effectively to my profession and society.

Discovering the concept of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) was a turning point in my academic pursuit. It offered me an alternative pathway to showcase my accumulated experiences and achievements, opening doors that were previously closed due to differences in qualification standards. Throughout my RPL journey, I was fortunate to receive invaluable support and guidance from the department, encouraging me to reconsider my application through the lens of my prior learning experiences.

The process of engaging with RPL not only provided me with a new perspective on my capabilities and accomplishments but also highlighted the importance of recognising individual journeys and unique strengths. Despite initial setbacks, the opportunity to reframe my qualifications based on prior learning experiences bolstered my confidence and cemented my belief in the transformative power of education. My story stands as a testament to resilience, determination, and the profound impact of embracing opportunities for growth and self-improvement. I hope that by sharing my RPL journey, I can inspire others to overcome challenges, pursue their aspirations, and harness the potential of prior learning experiences to realise their educational goals.

RPL was the perfect match for me as it recognised my diverse experiences and expertise, providing a welcoming opportunity to showcase my capabilities despite varying qualification standards. This also matches with the values advocated by the department of adult education at Maynooth.

RPL and higher education have significantly boosted my self-esteem and confidence by validating my prior learning experiences. Attaining Level 9 qualifications in Ireland has empowered me to pursue further studies globally, including my dream of pursuing a doctorate. This recognition reinforces my belief in the transformative potential of education.

 

Professionally, RPL opened new career opportunities and advancement prospects by leveraging my unique skills and experiences, adding significant value to my workplace through enhanced knowledge and expertise i.e. returning to my country with this qualification will allow me work as a university assistant, lead and supervise community education projects, lead researching projects for development.

 

The RPL application process was enlightening, requiring me to reflect on my achievements and showcase how my prior learning aligned with educational requirements. It was a reflective journey that empowered me to articulate my experiences effectively.

 

To those exploring RPL in higher education, I advise embracing the process with an open mind and a willingness to reflect on your experiences. Seek guidance from educational experts, leverage support networks, and articulate your achievements confidently to maximise the benefits of RPL for your educational and professional growth.