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Student-centred partnership agreement between NCI and NCISU

NCISU President Conor O'Reilly 2021/22) and NCI President Gina Quin signing Partnership Agreement

National College of Ireland (NCI) and NCI Students’ Union (NCISU) have today entered into an agreement that places the success and well-being of students at the centre of their partnership.

President of NCI, Gina Quin said: “NCI has always placed the learner at the heart of our mission, to change lives through education. This Partnership Agreement between the College and NCI Students’ Union demonstrates our commitment to both our learners and our student leaders. NCI and NCISU are delighted to be one of the first HEIs in Ireland to publish a formal Partnership Agreement; our guide to delivering the needs of current and future students.”

Outgoing President of NCISU, Conor O’Reilly said: “I am immensely proud to have signed this Partnership Agreement, the culmination of many years of hard work and discussion, and I want to acknowledge the contribution of the current executive and our predecessors in the SU.

“This agreement establishes a framework for meaningful, proactive student engagement, and sets out the principles and structures through which we will work together to ensure NCI students have the most successful and enjoyable experience possible during their time in the College.  

“Most importantly, in defining the relationship between NCI and NCISU, the autonomy of the Union to self-direct and self-govern is recognised and respected, and the first funding agreement between College and the SU has been put in place to safeguard the future of the Union.”

The Partnership Agreement follows guidelines for best practice led by the National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP), a HEA-funded joint-initiative with QQI.

NCI and NCISU already worked closely on initiatives, where appropriate, including in areas such as the coordination of consent training and a cross-college process for confidential reporting of bullying and/or harassment. NCI and NCISU have also co-designed a refreshed Student Complaints procedures, and are in the process of co-designing a new Student Hub.

Incoming NCISU President, Jennifer Treadwell said: "I have seen how well the College and SU can work together - this year alone, for example, our collaboration resulted in the launch of Brigit's Basket, the distribution of free period products across the College. Currently the SU is collaborating with college through the Gender Equality Steering Group to put together a Gender Expression and Identity policy. This Partnership Agreement formalises an existing positive relationship and these are prime examples of how well we can work together, side by side. I know I speak on behalf of the incoming SU Executive when I say we look forward to working with the College Executive in the implementation of this agreement."

Oisín Hassan, Programme Manager, National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP) said: "NCI and NCISU were one of the first five pilot higher education institutions that joined the National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP) in 2016, helping us to build a vision for greater student engagement in decision-making across the sector. Their new partnership agreement is a testament to the work that NCI students and staff have been carrying out over the past number of years to really embed collaborative partnership across the college. On behalf of the NStEP partners in QQI, HEA, and USI, I'd like to congratulate all the team at NCI and NCISU for this brilliant initiative. Student partnership has a bright future at NCI."