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Universal Learning Systems (ULS)

Universal Learning Systems is an international consultancy firm specializing in research, education, training and project management. ULS undertakes projects for a number of clients in the educational, development and management sectors. Based in Ireland, ULS also has offices in Prague, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Chicago. The ULS focus is on professional development with a particular emphasis on work-based learning. ULS works in Ireland, Europe and the United States with a wide range of clients: these include universities, open learning institutions, schools, employers and community associations. It has particular expertise in learning around transformative education, e-learning, diversity, interculturalism, immigration, conflict resolution and strategic management. ULS has extensive experience of promotion of educational and learning innovation. It works closely with community stakeholders, adult education and employer networks. ULS has particular experience with post-graduate distance learning initiatives in change management and sustainable professional development. It is centrally involved in work based learning initiatives to promote employee growth and competence. ULS focuses on pro-active strategic planning for innovative learning and is actively involved in a wide range of evaluation projects. ULS has a leading profile in EU distance learning and e-learning innovation networks. ULS has particular experience in project evaluation and quality assurance. ULS has developed an extensive range of e-learning courses in the security and pharmacy sectors in Finland in association with its partner company, ChangeLearning. ULS has experience of working with schools in developing enhanced engagement with teachers, communities and parents. ULS has developed human rights and diversity training for police training colleges in Ireland and Europe. Dr. Bruce of ULS is a member of the New Security Forum in Berlin and of the Garda National Diversity Strategy Board in Ireland. ULS has particular expertise in research, project management and innovative initiatives on migration, intercultural training and conflict transformation – with a strong track record of program development in Kosovo, Euzkadi, Bosnia, Catalonia, Romania and Northern Ireland. ULS has also undertaken significant educational and training projects on fundamental rights and diversity management. ULS is Academic Adviser to the Conflicts of Interest program delivered by Expac in Northern Ireland and delivers the new Future Resolutions program developed by Expac and validated by Queens University Belfast. ULS is a member of the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research in Cyprus. It has designed and delivered conflict transformation training (including mediation skills) to client agencies throughout Northern Ireland and the Border Counties of the Republic. Current projects include:

  • Innovative learning interventions in migration and social inclusion
  • Equality, human rights and diversity training for police services (Ireland, Norway, UK)
  • Research on labour market outcomes for ethnic minorities in Finland
  • Post-war conflict transformation training in Northern Ireland
  • Vocational rehabilitation development training in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary
  • Post conflict VET programs in Kosovo and Bosnia
  • Postgraduate course development for rehabilitation staff (US/Ireland)
  • ICT supported learning design using digital repositories
  • Diversity management programs for private and public sector
  • Competence based learning in schools (Greece)
  • Inter-ethnic training and research on conflict (Cyprus and Ireland).

ULS bases its work on the identification and development of opportunities for innovative learning competence to address future challenges. Capturing this innovation has become a key focus for ULS projects in recent years around advanced technologies and their application to human learning needs. ULS engagement with EDEN at the most senior level has enabled it to develop competence in addressing the fragmentation of knowledge and best practice around creative learning. Adapting to various learning environments and structures. Through its expertise on migration and interculturalism, ULS has developed robust training methods and guidelines based on individual and community learning and development needs – particularly in a time of socio-economic crisis. ULS contributed to the design and delivery of the Globe Project in Ireland (2009-10) for the All-Ireland Program for Immigrant Parents. A key issue in the preparation of citizens for the challenges of life and the globalized labour market is improvement of engagement through participation.  A key focus of ULS interest is the development of multi-stakeholder involvement via development of transversal key competences, enhanced ICT support and relevant adaptability in meeting the needs of a profoundly changing European society. ULS has conducted research for the Equality Authority, Atlantic Philantropies and the Training and Employment Authority of Ireland (FÁS) with particular reference to community employment, standards, best practice and labour market outcomes for marginalized groups. ULS developed the FÁS commissioned Bruce Report (2005) on vocational interventions for those with substance abuse In Ireland. ULS is a long-standing member of the European Distance and E-Learning Network, the Irish Institute of Training and Development, the National Council for Rehabilitation Education and the Council on Rehabilitation Education. ULS is centrally involved in innovative educational development, transformational school systems and enhanced use of ICT in schools and is National Coordinator for the EU Open Discovery Space program in Ireland.