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The purpose of this paper then is to address this gap and to explore the state of placement programmes in third level institutes in Ireland in the early twenty-first century. The paper will begin with an overview of the growing need for graduates to acquire improved employability skills, as this has become even more relevant in the current economic downturn. It will also review the existing literature on the benefits of placement for students, employers and higher education institutions. It will then present the results of the first comprehensive survey of placement in Irish HEIs which focused on the scale and scope of work placement programmes in undergraduate courses in Ireland. With more than three hundred courses incorporated into this survey, it is one of the most wide-ranging studies to ever have been conducted in this field. This will present contextual information on the number of third level students involved in placement programmes across the country and the types of courses in Irish HEIs (by level and discipline) which include a work placement element in their core structure. It will also identify the accreditation and assessment methods employed for such programmes by Irish HEIs.
Buckley, J and El Amoud, L. Undergraduate Work Placement Programmes in Ireland: Issues and Solutions. Published by Cork Institute of Technology 2011.
Higher Education Authority