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Prometheus's Fire: Abstracts

Chapter 10: The National Council for Educational Awards


Anthony White

The NCEA originated with the Donogh O'Malley reforms in the mid-60s, in the ferment which gave rise to the Regional Colleges in the early 70s. The prior stimulus had been the OECD Report on the training of technicians in 1964.

There was an interface with the Higher Education Authority via the question of awarding degrees in the new NIHE in Limerick. The NCEA however became somewhat of a political football, with changes of government, and the author goes into the detail of this. It did not assume its current statutary form until 1980.

As a quality control system it has on the whole served us well, though the author is critical of its failure to go outside Ireland and the UK for extern examining experience. The role of the NCEA has however been undermined on the one hand by the removal of the NIHE and the DIT from its ambit, and on the other by the 1995 Teastas initiative for the regulation of all non-University qualifications; NCEA was subsumed as a sub-group of this. The author has erected some signposts over what amounts to a political quagmire, and much remains to be done.

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