Prise de parole en public
Gestion des connaissances KM
Gestion des conflits
Bilan professionnel
Ingénierie de formation
Certification des formateurs
Préparation au concours
Orientation professionnelle
Formation au management public
Conduite de réunions participatives
Gestion du stress au travail
Management de projet
Réussir la prise de poste
Formation coaching de progression
Conduite du changement
Prolétarisation dans le monde ouvrier
Nantes l'excès la ville
Le rire de Norma Jean Baker
Hommage à Claude Leneuveu
A so small world : interdit sociologique
Traces et contrastes du décor populaire
Variations anthropologiques
Le poids, la perte des mots
Les ouvriers des chansons
L'envers du décor : les peuples de l'art
Les ouvriers de Saint-Nazaire
Parlers ouvriers, parlers populaires
Corps et imaginaire dans la chanson
Apocalypse à Manhattan
Critique d'une sociologie politique
Des cultures populaires
Odyssée du sujet et sciences sociales
Rapport à l'écriture
Les peuples de l'art
French popular music
Libre prétexte
De Bretagne et d'ailleurs
Eros et société
Des identités aux cultures
The societies of globalisation
L'usine des Batignolles à Nantes
Les ouvriers de Saint-Nazaire
L'ouest bouge-t-il ?
Métamorphoses ouvrières
Usine et coopération ouvrière
La transformation des cultures techniques
Les trente glorieuses de la CGT
25, Boulevard Van Iseghem
44000 - NANTES
Tél. :
Fax :
02 40 74 63 35
02 40 73 16 62






Learning Across Borders : an educational initiative in Ireland - North and South


Royaume Uni, Ulster Community Studies
Droits de reproduction et de diffusion réservés © LESTAMP - 2005
Dépôt Légal Bibliothèque Nationale de France N°20050127-4889

ello. My name is Rosemary Moreland and I am a Lecturer in Community Studies in the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. My background is in adult and community education and lifelong learning. Today, I would like to focus my presentation on the concept of “border” and its impact on learning. A border demarcates space and territory and in relation to human identities, signifies the “other” who is different from us.  Where a political border is also contested and has given rise to situations of conflict and political unrest, the concept of “border” is not merely a physical boundary, but also a psychological and socio-cultural boundary. I would like to speak today of my involvement in developing a cross-border degree programme in Ireland and the experiences of staff and participants to date. I have already stated my interest in adult education and lifelong learning and it is worth noting here that the majority of participants recruited onto this programme are mature students, what we also refer to as “2nd chance” learners. Thus in speaking about the concept of “border” in relation to space and territory, I also want to consider the physical, socio-cultural and psychological borders or barriers that deter adult students from returning to formal education. I intend to demonstrate the impact of space and territory on adult learning. I will identify good practice that can contribute to overcoming the physical, socio-cultural and psychological borders.

The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Borderlands Studies was developed by the Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) in the Republic of Ireland, in association with the University of Ulster, (UU) in the North of Ireland. It is funded under Measure 5.4 of the current Peace II Programme (Promoting Joint Approaches to Social, Education, Training and Human Resource Development). The aim of the Borderlands Studies Initiative is to “produce graduates who have a wide knowledge and deep understanding of the complexity of issues relating to the study of borderlands, both locally and internationally"[1]. It is a part-time honours degree, which results in the award of a Higher Certificate after the first two years of study and a BA (Hons) award on successful completion of a further two years study. The first cohort of 31 participants were recruited onto the programme in September 2003. A second cohort of 30 participants was recruited in September 2004. The programme has a number of unique features that are of particular interest to this workshop. These features are:

1 - Cross-border undergraduate degree programme
2 -
Non-traditional background of students
3 -
Focus of study on Borderlands
4 -
E-learning opportunities

I will discuss each of these in turn.

1 - Cross-border undergraduate degree programme

The programme recruited participants from the eastern border counties of Ireland, North and South. The North of Ireland comprises 6 counties of the 32 counties of Ireland. It is a society emerging from a conflict that has raged internally for over 30 years. It is now ten years since the Irish Republican Army announced its ceasefire and recently, one of the Protestant paramilitary groups, the Ulster Defence Army, has announced its intention, once more, to cease violent activities. Meanwhile, politicians and community leaders continue to struggle to find a resolution to the conflict that will lead to a workable governing of the region and a reality of peace that is not merely the absence of war! This is the current context in which the recruitment of a cross-border degree in Borderlands takes place on the island of Ireland.

For those living in the border regions in particular, the border has a major impact on how lives are lived, communities are constituted and space and territory are delineated. Since the IRA ceasefire ten years ago, the British government has slowly been removing the visible trappings of the border between the North and South of Ireland. When one passes along the main road between Dublin and Belfast, there is very little evidence to delineate when one moves from the South of Ireland to the North of Ireland. There are some key points, if one is aware of what to look for. For example, the signs are no longer displayed in both Irish and English, but English only, and distances between towns are displayed on signs in miles rather than kilometres. Physical symbols of space and territory are noticeably lacking. However, this is along the main arterial route and there are other smaller roads between North and South that have been closed and this may be problematic for locals wanting to cross the border. The border between the North and South of Ireland exists and sets apart two separate jurisdictions, with different governments, and all the systems of governance stemming from this, for example, education, health care, currency, taxation, welfare.

The history of conflict on the island of Ireland, and particularly in border regions, also means that despite, or perhaps even because of the removal of a physical demarcation of territory between North and South, people may experience when faced with the idea of crossing or not crossing the border, including fear, anger, injustice, distrust, as well as freedom, belonging and identity. These feelings can heighten a sense of community, which on the one hand can contribute to building social capital, particularly in areas of multiple deprivation and disadvantage, but also denotes that there is the “other”, who is different and does not belong to the community. The Borderlands Studies Initiative has sought to engage students from different communities, from both Protestant/Unionist and Catholic/Nationalist traditions and from backgrounds that would not normally participate in higher education.

A particular recruitment strategy was developed therefore in order to encourage participation from minority backgrounds. This included a road-show in four community venues, two predominantly Catholic/Nationalist and two Protestant/Unionist, on either sides of the border and support from community leaders, along with advertisements in local press. The following table demonstrates how the programme has successfully met its targets in terms of recruiting participants from the North and South of Ireland and from Catholic/Nationalist and Protestant/Unionist traditions.















Total Minimum No of Protestants










No of Participants from Northern Ireland









There are three ‘displaced’ persons who relocated from Northern Ireland to the Republic because of the conflict – two in the first group of students, and one in the second.  If included, this creates a surplus of +1.

Total No of Participants









Six of the original group of 31 from 2003 did not progress into 2nd year in 2004.

No. of Non-Nationals









However this has not been without difficulties, particularly in relation to recruiting people from a Protestant/Unionist background from the North of Ireland. A major factor in this has been the fact that the first year of the course has been delivered solely in the Dundalk Institute of Technology. Whilst e-learning has been introduced into Year 2 and is expected to become a more central feature in Years 3 and 4 of the course, this has brought about another set of challenges, which I shall discuss later in this paper. A recent evaluation[2] carried out on the programme suggests that it has not merely been the issues of distance and travel that have deterred potential participants from embarking on this course. Rather the impact of the Border and perceptions of crossing the border and participating in a course run by an educational institution in the Republic of Ireland have played a significant part in discouraging Protestants in the North of Ireland from applying and/or taking up places on the course. It is significant therefore that the programme was able to achieve its target recruitment, despite these difficulties. However, the Management Committee are keen to address this issue for future intakes of the programme. An outreach strategy is currently being drawn up, which will examine potential community venues, particularly in the North of Ireland. It is hoped that this will help to combat the negative impact that the border has on access to learning opportunities for adult learners living in the border regions of the North of Ireland, and in particular, for Protestants living in these areas.

A further cross-border dimension of this programme is the composition of the Borderlands Studies Initiative Management Board. Not only is this a collaboration between educational institutions north and south of the Irish border, but community representatives in both jurisdictions have been sought, in order to ensure that the programme can reach those who live in marginalized and disadvantaged communities in the North and South of Ireland.

The final important dimension to the cross-border feature of this programme is that the two University of Ulster staff (myself and a colleague, together with a Researcher) have been employed as academic consultants to examine the potential for joint accreditation of the programme, by both the University of Ulster as well as the Southern accreditation body, the Higher Education Training and Awards Council, so that it will have recognition and validity in both the North and South of Ireland. The programme has already been validated by the Higher Education Training and Awards Council. A report currently being prepared along with colleagues and due to be launched in January 2005 will identify the similarities and differences between the two systems of accreditation in the North and South of Ireland and put forward recommendations that could pave the way for a joint or parallel accreditation of this programme. In relation to our discussion of the impact of borders on learning, the lack of transferability and recognition is one way in which a geo-political border can limit the benefits accruing from learning that occurs in different jurisdictions.

2 - Non-traditional students

The programme targets those who are marginalized in society and therefore generally excluded from higher education. This constitutes one border for many people, whereby barriers related to social class, gender, marginalisation, for example, cost, distance, location, dependents and previous educational experience severely impede access to higher education. I have already drawn attention to the significance of location with respect to this programme, particularly in relation to those from a Protestant/Unionist background living in the North of Ireland. However, location has a further significance, with regard to the course being delivered in a 3rd level formal education institution. “2nd chance” learners have often been failed by the educational system as children and young adults. They often experience this as a failure in themselves.

Adult returners therefore are a very particular group of learners who require specific approaches to learning and education. The Borderlands Studies Initiative has attempted to recruit participants who would not normally take part in higher education – 25% of participants are unemployed and a further 11% categorise their status as “homemakers”. The recruitment road-show took place in community venues, that are situated in working-class areas. In recognition of the support required for 2nd chance learners to continue and progress in 3rd level education, the programme also appointed a Student Mentor, who meets the students regularly to discuss their progress and address any concerns they may have.

There has been much recent interest in encouraging adults to participate in formal education and training, often linked to improving employability and gaining skills for living in a technological society. The concept of lifelong learning has regained currency in recent years, featuring in a number of British government reports (for example, Dearing, 1997; Kennedy, 1997; DfEE, 1998; DfEE, 1999). Field (2000) suggests that renewed interest in the notion of lifelong learning is not restricted to Britain, but can in fact be found in most Western European countries (eg Dohmen, 1996, 1998; Department of Education & Science, 1998; Ministry of Culture, Education & Science, 1998). He traces its re-emergence through the European Commission (1994), where it became linked with competition and economic growth. This corresponds with Gouthro’s (2002:336) view that increased participation in adult education is driven largely by the need to compete in the global economy and its value is therefore determined largely by its success in “training people to successfully participate in and adapt to the evolving global marketplace”. She claims that this narrow focus leads to the denigration of lifelong education becoming “yet another item for consumption that demarcates the difference between those who are ‘successful’ in life, and those who are not” (Gouthro, 2002:335). Ironically, a number of studies indicate that those most likely to participate in adult education tend to be those who have already previously benefited from the education system (Merriam & Cafferella, 1991; Shipley, 1997, as cited in Gouthro, 2002). Thus Gouthro (2002:340) claims that “Those at the lowest end of the social spectrum are less likely to be involved in formal types of education in adulthood”.

Whilst the Programme has projected outputs related to participants gaining employment and/or career progression that comply with the EU Peace II Measure’s Horizontal principle of Economic and Social Sustainability, the stated learning outcomes of the programme demonstrate a much wider understanding of lifelong learning. For example, the Programme Objectives state that on successful completion of the programme, graduates will be able to: 

·       Critically analyse the role of cultural elements (heritage, landscape, history, belief, politics, language, literature, media, art and music) in borderlands areas around the world, with special reference to the cultural and political borderlands between Ireland and Britain;

·         Understand the interaction between economics, culture and politics in borderlands;

·         Work well and empathetically with people of different cultural backgrounds in a mixed workplace;

·         Take up employment in the tourism, heritage and community sectors;

·         Work competently in any environment where a proficiency in IT skills is required;

·         Undertake any further academic study if so desired

These objectives recognise the importance of not only gaining the necessary skills for living and working in the 21st Century, but also gaining detailed knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of their personal identity and the identity of communities, in relation to national and international borders.

3 - Focus on Borderlands

A unique feature on the island of Ireland, is the focus of this programme on the study of borders. Whilst several research centres exist on the island of Ireland, for example, the Centre for Cross-Border Community Development in Dundalk Institute of Technology, in the Republic of Ireland and in the North of Ireland, Queens University Belfast has a Centre for International Borders Research and the University of Ulster has its Centre for Conflict Studies and INCORE (). These centres tend to focus on research and post-graduate awards or short courses. The Borderlands Studies Initiative is the first undergraduate degree programme to focus specifically on the study of borders, on the island of Ireland. As stated above, some of the learning outcomes for this programme relate specifically to participants developing detailed knowledge and understanding of borderlands. The content of the course is not restricted to study of the Irish border, but rather incorporates international dimensions, that enable participants to understand that issues pertaining to borders are not unique to Ireland and that borders are an important feature of human society. Many of the participants have been directly affected by the conflict in Ireland (for example, as victims or family/friends of victims, displaced persons, ex-prisoners, minorities). In this way, the programme can contribute to building peace and reconciliation, through providing a safe learning environment, in which participants can explore issues relating to conflict and develop new perspectives and skills for dealing with these. As many of the participants are active within their communities, it is hoped that these skills and understanding will have an impact on the wider communities.

4 - E-learning opportunities

Another important feature of this programme is its aim to include the delivery of e-learning to its participants. This is a significant development in the various interpretations of the idea of “border”, within the context of this programme, which as previously stated, has targeted participants often socially excluded from higher education. These students would not normally have the capacity to access e-learning. In order to combat this, the Introductory sessions of the programme have been specifically designed to include substantial Information Technology Skills, to enable students to feel confident about using e-learning. Whilst the 1st year of the programme is delivered by face-to-face teaching, a combination of direct contact and e-learning, known as “blended learning” is currently being piloted in the second year. 2nd year students in the 1st semester have taken one module via e-learning and one module direct contact. It was hoped that two modules could be taken via e-learning in the 2nd semester.

However, the recent evaluation carried out suggests that students are having more difficulty with this mode of learning than anticipated. Some problems are technical and can be addressed fairly easily. Some participants experience difficulty due to lack of sufficient IT and typing skills and again this problem can be easily rectified through giving participants more opportunity to practise these before embarking upon the e-learning module. Others reported lack of confidence in the subject of study and a loss of peer and tutor interaction and support as contributing to the difficulties in using e-learning.  Whilst students recognise and appreciate the support being given by the course tutor and IT technician, it has been recommended that students are introduced to e-learning at a slower pace, which enables them to gain the confidence and skills required to manage their learning environment effectively. A minority of students who have welcomed the introduction of e-learning as a means of cutting down on travelling times, also reported good IT skills and confidence in working on-line.


Increasingly the notion of globalisation and the merchandising of products to an international market have impacted on education. It too is often viewed as a marketable commodity and its value therefore subject to the laws of supply and demand. European Peace funds have provided a unique opportunity in the borderlands of area of Ireland to develop the BA (Hons) Borderlands Studies which takes “borders” as its subject of concern and addresses this in the content of study, as well as the way in which students are nurtured throughout their studies.

Thus students are initially encouraged to cross the institutional “border”, in order to commence their studies and at a later stage, they are encouraged to go out from the institution, in order to “virtually” cross back into the institution, at a time and place convenient to them. The hope is that borders around educational institutions can be broken down through e-learning, bringing the educational opportunities into communities that are socially isolated and marginalized. Finally, the development of e-learning opportunities in this project, opens up the possibility of students from diverse locations studying modules which deal with the very nature of borders, their changing nature and significance for individuals and communities in different countries.

In a society emerging from conflict, political, historical and cultural borders remain. Ireland is not unique in this; many regions of the world are either currently experiencing conflict or emerging from conflict. Borders are not fixed forever; they can arise, change, diminish and dissolve. Their impact on the lives of individuals and communities cannot be disregarded, despite global forces and the impingement of other cultures. It is important therefore in the world of e-learning and virtual university campuses, that learning takes on board and includes learning about the borders that affect our daily lives, whether they are geographical, ideological or psychological boundaries.

Thank-you for your time and interest.

[1] Borderlands Studies Initiative in association with the University Of Ulster, BA in Humanities in Borderland Studies: Submission to HETAC, June 2003 pg7.

[2] KW Research & Associates Ltd, (November 2004) Dundalk Institute of Technology & University of Ulster Borderlands Studies Initiative (Nov 2002-Oct 2004) Final Evaluation (Draft).

Droits de reproduction et de diffusion réservés © LESTAMP - 2005
Dépôt Légal Bibliothèque Nationale de France N°20050127-4889




Formation de formateur   I   Formation communication   I   Formation management   I   Formation consultants   I  Gestion du temps   I   Bilan des compétences    I  Art   I   Ressources humaines
Formation gestion stress  I  Formation coaching   I  Conduite de réunion   I   Gestion des conflits   I  Ingénierie de formation  I  Gestion de projets   I  Maîtrise des changements  I   Outplacement
Formation Ressources Humaines    I    Prise de parole en public    I    Certification formateurs    I   Orientation professionnelle    I   Devenir consultant    I  Sociologie de culture   I  Master culture
Formation management    I  Info culture   I   Lca consultants    I  
Formation de formateur   I   Formation gestion conflit    I   Formation communication   I   Formation coaching    I  Gestion stress
Ressources humaines   I   Formation management   I   Conduite réunion  I   Formation consultants   I  Gestion du temps  I  Devenir formateur   I   Certification formateurs   I  Formation coaching
Consultant indépendant  I  Ingénierie de formation  I  Bilan de personnalité  I  Bilan de compétence  I  Évaluation manager 360°  I  Coaching de progression  I  Stratégies internet E-commerce
Management internet marketing    I    Création site internet     I    Référencement internet    I    Rédiger une offre internet    I   Gestion de projets e-business    I   Droit des nouvelles technologies
Intelligence stratégique    I   Négocier en position de force    I    Conduite des changements    I    Management de la qualité     I    Orientation professionnelle    I    Gestion ressources humaines 
Ingénierie de formation     I     Gestion des conflits      I     Management et performances      I     Communiquer pour convaincre     I    Développement personnel     I     Intelligence émotionnelle
Prise de parole en public  I 
Gestion stress Conduite de réunion  I  Gestion du temps  I  Conduite des entretiens  I  Réussir sa gestion carrière  I  Formation leadership  I  Recrutement consultants
Communiquer pour convaincre  I  Prospection commerciale   I  
Coaching commercial  I  Formation vente   I  Management commercial   I  Négociation commerciale   I   Responsable formation
Knowledge management    I    Gestion de projet internet   I Toutes les formations LCA  
I   Formation consultant  I   Formation formateur   I   Colloque odyssée du sujet dans le sciences sociales
Statuts lestamp   I   Publications lestamp   I   Art, cultures et sociétés  I  Partenariat lestamp  I  Newsletter lestamp  I  Livre libre prétexte  I  Livre les peuples de l'art  I  Livre french popular music
Livre éros et société   I   Livre des identités aux cultures  I  Livre de Bretagne et d'ailleurs  I  Libre opinion  I  Page d'accueil index  I  Formation continue  I  Equipe lestamp  I  Décors populaires
Contact lestamp   I   Conférences lestamp   I   Conditions générales lestamp  I  Sciences sociales et humanités  I  Charte confidentialité lestamp  I  Articles  I  Article variations anthropologiques
Article traces et contrastes  I  Article rapport à l'écriture  I  Article parler ouvriers  I  Article ouvriers des chansons  I  Article ouvriers de Saint-Nazaire  I Article odyssée du sujet  I  Le rire de Norma
Article le poids la perte des mots   I   Article la prolétarisation du monde ouvrier   I  Article Nantes ville  I  Article interdit sociologique  I  Article envers du décor  I  Article des cultures populaires
Article critique de la sociologie politique   I   Article la chanson réaliste   I   Article chanson comme écriture   I   Article apocalypse à Manhattan   I   Appel à contribution   I  Adhésion à lestamp
Décor populaire   I  Publications les sociétés de la mondialisation   I   Intervenants au colloque les sociétés de la mondialisation   I  Colloque acculturations populaires  I  Colloque bilan réflexif
Colloque chanson réaliste   I   Colloque états d'art   I   Colloque chemins de traverse   I   Colloque des identités aux cultures   I  Colloque éros et société  I  Colloque espaces, temps et territoires
Colloque science fiction, sciences sociales   I   Colloque les peuples de l'art   I   Colloque nommer l'amour   I   Colloque odyssée du sujet dans le sciences sociales  I  Colloque sciences sociales
Colloque les sociétés de la mondialisation Colloque une vie, une ville, un monde  I  Article hommage à Claude Leneveu  I  Article Nantes identification  I  Article prolétarisation Jacky Réault

© Lca Performances Ltd