DIT New Campus

DIT new campus buildingsAfter decades of operating throughout a range of splintered facilities and colleges around Dublin, DIT has obtained a large campus which will unify it and provide better facilities for future students. Like most colleges in this position DIT had been looking to consolidate it’s faculties for some time and have been lucky enough to find an ideal location in the heart of the city.

A 70 acre disused site at Grangegorman is to provide the new location for the college and will merge the 39 existing DIT sites into one campus for the first time in 125 years. The site had been disused for the last 20 years and, keen to protect its long history, DIT are retaining a selection of old protected structures dating from the 1820’s onwards and reincorporating them with the majority of the development, which will be comprised of modern buildings. This interesting blend of old and new will add character to the campus and the college hopes that DIT will revitalise the surrounding area of Grangegorman into a vibrant new urban quarter.

The campus is set to be complete by 2017, providing improved facilities for 20,000 students and 2,000 staff members. New buildings include arts buildings, a student centre, new architecture, engineering, business and tourism faculties and a central library. There will be a main walk way running through the entire campus called ‘St Brendan’s Way’, as a connection to the history of the site. There will be a Luas stop at the entrance to the campus, which will be of added convenience for students.

From September 2014 on, over half of all DIT’s education and research provision will be moved to the new site and there is a list of the courses that will be based there on the DIT website www.dit.ie. The National Transport Authority has also developed a journey planner to help staff and students to find the most convenient form of public transport to the campus and a list of the directions can be found at http://www.dit.ie/about/grangegorman/informationforstudents/transporttothenewcampus/. To follow the progress of the new campus or for more information visit www.dit.ie

Author Fiona McBennett

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Photography Courses

It might be that birthday present that you’re not quite sure what to do with or maybe you’re sick of having fingers protruding into your pictures, either way it’s time to get a flash of inspiration and develop your photography skills. A photography class is a great opportunity to be creative and learn or enhance a skill.

Photography classes have changed dramatically in the last ten years with more emphasis on digital photography, and while some classes will cover traditional SLR cameras, others will only concentrate on digital photography. It may be difficult to find courses on SLR cameras and film developing, although specific photography or art schools will most likely have these kinds of courses available. Other part-time classes can offer some excellent value for the more popular photography techniques and no matter how advanced the technology gets, there are some things that will never change.

Some aspects that are the basis of most photography classes today include learning about light (aperture) and controlling how much to bring in or keep out of your picture. Related to understanding light is knowing how to use shutter speed. Fancy taking one of those pictures of the stars that shows their circular trail in the night sky or making water look blurry? Understanding the effects of using different shutter speeds will help you achieve these kinds of photos. Taking photos during the day only to find later that the pictures of the important people in your life don’t have enough light is irritating and can be fixed by learning how to use light meters and flashguns. In photography courses there is also usually time spent on film sensitivity, digital sensors, and learning how the modern digital camera works. And it’s not all lights, camera, action because learning composition and how to achieve balance with an image is a crucial component of beautiful, and memorable, photographs.

Kilroy’s College offers distance education courses in photography that focuses on taking professional quality photographs. As you complete each of the lessons, you will gain photography skills that will help with your career or for personal use. This course consists of understanding how the camera works, film processing, photographic printing, presentation and finishing techniques, and finally how the photograph conveys its message.
photography courses and classes in ireland
The College of Management and IT (CMIT) also offer a distance education course in digital photography and post-production imaging. The course covers the art of taking photographs, planning a shoot, and manipulating photographs using digital software. CMIT also offer a separate version of this course with FETAC Level 6 certification that includes an assessment of photographic work and a project.

Shoot School
in Ringsend, Dublin offers some very interesting courses including those dealing with video techniques and mastery for DSLR cameras.

Malahide Community School offers beginner photography classes which focus on composition and style, while building technical ability. The school also offers a course on digital cameras which provides instruction on storing, editing, enhancing (such as removing red eye and perform other improvements), printing and e-mailing your digital images.

Photography is most commonly a hobby but many people turn their interest into something greater. There are many photography competitions and generally there is always a market for good photography. Newspapers and magazines are readily available outlets for talented photographers. There are all kinds of events people will pay to have photographed, including sporting, social and local events. It may not be lucrative (at first) and can even be hard if your photos don’t get the recognition you think they deserve. Photography courses are a great way to learn about these avenues and opportunities and where you can usually find a sympathetic ear and helpful advice.

To see a wider range of photography courses on Findacourse.ie, view https://www.findacourse.ie/photography-courses-s2-63.html

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Teaching English as a Foreign Language – TEFL

TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a versatile occupation that enables teachers to access a global jobs market. For many of us when we think of TEFL we think of fresh faced graduates heading off for their year abroad after college. But TEFL can also be a viable career choice and one that opens up a world of possibilities both in Ireland, and a variety of countries around the globe.

If the thought of working in a foreign country for a year or more really appeals to you, then TEFL courses may just be the way to go. What a great way to experience a different county and immerse yourself in its culture. And the options are varied, think Greece or Thailand, the Czech Republic or China.

tefl courses ireland

So what do you need in terms of qualifications before you head off to foreign climes?
First of all you need to be a native English speaker, and in most (though not all countries) a degree is often a pre requisite. You will also need a TEFL Certificate of some shape or form – the choice of which is numerous. Ranging from 20 to 120 hours in duration, the better ones include classroom practice, while others can be completed online and over a week-end. Most language schools in Ireland and some Universities offer TEFL Certificates, and all vary in terms of cost, time and accreditation. But do expect to pay anything from €300 to €800+, and the upper end of the market for a better one.

If you are doing a TEFL course purely to spend a year abroad, then the type of course you do is at your own discretion. Very few schools abroad ask for a specific TEFL certificate or qualification, however for your own sake it is advisable to choose a course that includes some teaching practice. It might also be worth choosing a school that offers help finding a placement post qualification. The pay and conditions for TEFL Teachers abroad varies, depending on where you go as do the perks. In some cases subsidised or free accommodation may be provided, and free language lessons are often part of the package. Lengths of contracts vary but be prepared to commit for 6 months to a year.

The work ranges from preparing teenagers for Cambridge exams to teaching business people who want to use English in their jobs. Teaching methods to encourage the four basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, such as role-play, group work and audio-visual materials are used to encourage communication. So expect to be creative in preparing your classes, but don’t worry about having to speak the language of your host country, as most schools prefer if English is the only language spoken.

If you think you might also like the option of Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Ireland on your return, then you need a course that has the ACELS (Advisory Council for English Language Schools) mark. Be prepared to put in 100+ hours to gain this qualification and to spend time in teaching observation and practice. To find schools in Ireland offering the ACELS qualification, check out www.acels.ie or www.mei.ie

Once you have the ACELS TEFL course you will find that teaching English to foreign students in Ireland (strange as it may seem) is actually a booming business. The range of students who come to Ireland to learn English is broad, from Spanish teenagers to Chinese businessmen. As a result there are a lot TEFL schools meeting this demand and providing work for many teachers into the bargain. While the work isn’t as well paid as a qualified secondary school teacher, it does provide much more flexibility and a chance to work with people of different cultures.

Some teachers also get involved in teaching ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) or ESP (English for Special Purposes). The difference between these and TEFL is that you may be teaching foreign language speakers living in an English speaking country in the first instance, and specialised English say for business or legal purposes in the second.

Whichever aspect of TEFL appeals to you, it is certainly a versatile career worth considering! Check out some of the TEFL courses on offer on findacourse.ie at the following link – https://www.findacourse.ie/tefl-courses-c43.html

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Media and Design Courses

media art and designFor anyone who loves being creative, thinking outside the box, using their hands, working on projects and exploring, experimenting and questioning ideas, then a career in the field of media, art and design can be very rewarding. There are a wide spectrum of courses in the creative fields; whether it’s a full time course to begin a creative career, a postgraduate course to broaden skills or perhaps a part time course for those who just want a creative outlet; there is something for everyone.

A wide range of colleges offer degrees in various areas of media and design. IADT in Dublin offers BA degrees in areas such as Visual Communication Design, Photography, Model Making, Computing and Multimedia programming and Design for Screen and Stage to name a few. IADT also offers a variety of 1 to 2 year post-graduate courses such as MAs in Visual Arts Practices, Screenwriting for film and television, Broadcast Production for Radio and Television. Other colleges to offer degrees in similar areas are DIT, Griffith College, University of Limerick, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, NUI, Institute of Technology Carlow and many more. These full-time degree courses are typically 3 to 4 years in length and there is everything from Creative Design and Innovation to BAs in Interior Design and Furniture to choose from.

Part-time evening courses are great for those who would like to develop a hobby or even turn a hobby into a way of making extra money by fine tuning your skills. There is a vast selection of these courses on offer and they range in length from flexible study to 4 weeks onto those which are a few months in length. The choice of specialisations are also varied. Courses in Fashion, Theatre and Media Make up, Photography, Lighting Design and History of Art courses are just a sample of what’s out there. Taking part in an evening course is the perfect way to learn new skills, or to develop on existing ones or as a taster experience in new areas that you may like to get more familiar with.

You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to study in the field of media and design as there are also lots of distance learning courses available, meaning that you can study online and fit your course work around your life in a way that suits you. The International Career Institute, Kilroy’s College and the College of Management and IT all offer courses such as Floristry, Jewellery Design and Landscaping through their distance learning programmes. These courses generally run on 28 weekly instalments and can be a great starting point for developing a new career.

Portobello Institute and KCAT Art and Study Centre both offer PLC and Further Education courses in the field of media, art and design. Portobello Institute offers a full-time course in Multimedia Production over the course of 2 days for 25 weeks. Offering a level 5 FETAC qualification, provides key design skills and gives an overview of multimedia production techniques. KCAT Art and Study Centre is offering 2 PLC courses; one in Visual Art and the other in Theatre Performance. Both provide level 5 FETAC qualifications and are full-time. In the Visual Arts course there is the opportunity to study drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and more. The course runs for 2 years is 9am-4pm daily. The Theatre Performance course covers Acting Skills and Techniques, Performance Craft, Theatre Studies and includes work experience. It runs for 1 year from 9am-4pm daily.

So whether you are itching to leave your office job, dream of a future career in photography or interior design, see your name in lights or simply want to indulge your creative side, get those creative juices flowing and sign up for one of the many courses out there!

Resources: Media, Art and Design Courses on Findacourse.ie

Fiona McBennett

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New Universities on the Horizon

technological universitiesNew legislation has recently been announced that will allow institutes of technology to apply for university status. Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn, said that the prospect of new universities is now a reality and described it as an exciting time for higher education.

1989, when DCU and University of Limerick obtained university status, was the last time there were new universities. The Technological Universities bill, the heads of which have been published by the minister, will allow for the unification of institutes and the establishment of technological universities in the future.

Under the legislation, technological universities will be new, education and research focused, higher education institutions. The minister said that the merging of institutes of technology will allow them to compete internationally against other similar institutions.

Dublin Institute of Technology, The Institute of Technology, Tallaght and the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown are considering combing to form a technological university as is Cork Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology, Tralee. Carlow Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology have also expressed an interest. The Connacht- Ulster Alliance, comprised of Galway-Mayo IT, Sligo IT and Letterkenny IT, are also considering tightening their existing alliance by combining sometime in the future.

Mr. Quinn said that each of the three groups who have expressed an immediate interest will have to measure up to the standards set out in order to become a technological university and will be judged individually.

Click here to view the General Scheme of the Technological Universities Bill

Fiona McBennett

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Drama and Acting Courses

drama and acting coursesDrama and acting courses are ideal for those who have dreams of starring on stage or on screen, but they can also be of great benefit to anyone who wants to have a career behind the scenes, such as directing, writing or teaching, as well as those who may just want to build their confidence to ensure they deliver perfect presentations at the workplace. There is a whole range of different reasons people sign up for courses in drama and acting and there is a wide selection of courses to choose from to cater for every need.

While there are successful actors who never took formal acting lessons, a recent report by Manpower recruiting agency found that 86% of professional actors have received formal training. Professional training not only gives you a great foundation in acting skills, it also provides career advice and support and helps when getting an agent.

While acting is often been considered a difficult job financially, having a professional training provides the student with an advantage and can lead to other jobs outside of ‘regular’ acting such as voice-overs, advertising and business and corporate trainings, all of which even well-known actors do. Professional trainings can also lead on to further studies and allow a student to branch out into a different aspect of drama.

The Gaiety School of Acting was founded in 1986 by the internationally acclaimed theatre director Joe Dowling and while its base is in Temple Bar in Dublin, there are a variety of their courses taking place in centres all over the country. Famous names to have trained at the Gaiety School of Acting include actors Colin Farrell, Olivia Wilde and Stuart Townsend and writers Marina Carr, Alex Johnston and Gavin Kostick.

Courses currently on offer covers all aspects of drama and include Introduction to Drama, Acting for Camera, Stand Up Comedy, One Year Part-Time Performance/ Acting and a Two Year Full Time Intensive Professional Actor Training. More information about each of the courses is available here https://www.findacourse.ie/gaiety-school-acting-cg527.html

Fiona McBennett

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The Challenging Career Path to Nursing

routes to nursing in IrelandThe path to a career in nursing has now become a difficult one to navigate. A career in nursing that was once secure with employment guaranteed is now unstable – with often few prospects in terms of job openings in Ireland. The CAO points required for nursing is a stark reflection on the state of this discipline. In 2001 it was reported that all general nursing courses had dropped in points to between 325 and 395. Roll on eight years later and nursing points were predicted to rise after the HSE cut places in 2009. In recent years there has only been 1,300 nursing places available to students due to the HSE’s continued reduction in places. As with any college place shortages; there will be severe competition and points will rise dramatically. In fact some of the nursing courses on offer have passed the 500 points mark. Children’s and general nursing has risen to 505 in Trinity College and to 495 in UCD.

Many students view this as ironic – given that a nursing career is both demanding and stressful, yet not extremely well rewarded financially; yet the rise in points to get a place on a nursing programme will now draw on the top 30% of Leaving Cert performers. General Nursing courses are always the most popular options but the increased competition saw points for almost all programmes rising. To compare: in DCU in 2001 General Nursing was 345 points – this year it was 445 points. The highest cut-off points for a General Nursing course is National University of Ireland, Galway, at 450. The course with the highest points is Children’s and General Nursing in University College Cork, which has a limited number of places and has risen to 520 points. If one was to look at the leaving certificate grade break-down and their accompanying points; it becomes very apparent the type of required grades to make up 440 to 500 points from a pool of six leaving certificate subjects.

Nursing is now almost as competitive as Primary Teaching, which was traditionally one of the most closely fought for courses in the CAO system. As with teaching, even with restrictions in recruitment and related moratoriums, the perceived security offered by the traditional public service sector seems to be one of the defining criteria in CAO choices. Aside from the security factor (which is currently questionable), the competition for places has of course been seriously accelerated by a cut in training places this year. Despite those cuts, introduced as part of the government’s cost-saving response to the downturn, there is no let-up in interest in Nursing, and demand for places has increased again this year.

It is difficult to interpret the HSE’s actual response to the nursing crisis in Ireland by cutting places on offer to students. With retirements and on-going emigration of newly qualified nurses  all in search of better pay and conditions; there is cause for concern in the nurses union as to who will fill these places. The Irish nurses and Midwives organisation (INMO) has warned it is deeply concerned that there will be a shortage of nurses in Irish hospitals over the next three years. In fact they recently told the media that the situation ‘could reach crisis point’. They draw a comparison between what happened in the 90s when a massive recruitment campaign was needed to draw in recruit essential doctors and nurses from abroad.

General Secretary of the INMO Liam Doran says his members will make sure to let management know exactly how these plans are affecting patient safety on the ground. ‘We cannot have a situation where you cut the number of nurses, midwives and support staff in a ward and at the same time have consultants and other managers think you can maintain the same quality of service’.

Whilst words like ‘unacceptable’ and ‘dangerous’ in terms of patient safety continue to be used by those concerned; Ireland will keep exporting newly qualified nurses, seeking better working conditions and security. These are the same nurses that one day the government will no doubt be trying to recruit back.

What is unfortunate for those wishing to enter the career this year – many who would make excellent nurses; they will not get the opportunity to provide such an important nursing service, due to them being unable to make that drastically high points mark.

As we all know; a good nurse is more than a combination of high points. They have to be empathetic, responsive and practical in nature and being. These essential interpersonal and intrapersonal qualities won’t always be accompanied by 500 points – leaving a lot of potentially excellent nurses out of the hospital wards forever.

Author: Catriona Lowry

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Ireland’s first stem cell manufacturing centre set for NUI Galway

stem research, nui galwayStem cells will be manufactured for human use for the first time in Ireland following the recent licensing of a new facility in Galway by the Irish Medicines Board. The centre, which is one of only a handful of others in Europe authorised for stem cell production, aims to cultivate adult stem cells to treat conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.

The centre has been developed by researchers at NUIG’s regenerative medicine institute and was opened recently by Seán Sherlock, Minister for Research and Innovation. The Health Research Board and Science Foundation Ireland have recently approved funding for clinical trials on cells that be used to treat a condition known as critical limb ischemia.

The centre’s director, Prof Tim O’ Brien, said it would allow the team to take Prof Frank Barry’s discoveries from the basic stem cell research programme at the Science Foundation Ireland-funded REMEDI, to the new clinic so that they may compete for grant funding under the Horizon 2020 programme of the EU.

O’ Brien explained that in order to generate a sufficient amount, stem cells must be grown in laboratories and that the centre will help Ireland create therapies for a wide range of clinical problems which currently have no effective treatments. He said that the centre can only do clinical trials with authorisation from the IMB and that the licence to manufacture is obligatory for seeking permission for clinical trials.

Dr. Jim Browne, president of NUIG said that the new centre develops Galway’s international reputation of being a centre for medical technology and John O’Dea, board member of the Irish Medical Devices Association, pointed to the money to be earned from regenerative medicine products which had a 40% sales growth last year and was valued at approximately €1.3 billion.

Regenerative medical therapies combines biology and engineering and 70% of pharmaceutical companies are currently working to develop them. NUIG estimates that over 1,900 cell therapy trials are currently taking place around the world.

Fiona McBennett

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QQI Level 5 Certificate in Hairdressing

hairdressing courses mayoCourse Duration
This is a one year, full time course running from September to May.

Course Location
The course is run in St Louis Community School in Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo

Successful completion of this course will result in a FETAC Level 5 Certificate in Hairdressing, 5M3351.
Successful Students may progress to the Professional Hairdressing course which would result in a City & Guilds Diploma in Ladies Hairdressing.

Entry Requirements
Leaving Certificate or Leaving Certificate Applied
Exemptions granted to mature applicants
Entry may be subject to interview.

Course Content
– Communications – Students will learn a wide variety of communication skills.
– Work Experience – Students are required to secure work experience one day per week in a salon and in the work experience class students will be introduced to key themes within the world of work.
– Hairdressing Theory & Practice – This module will introduce students to hairdressing as a career, enabling students to become proficient in basic hairdressing skills and to equip them with the underpinning theoretical knowledge. The basic hairdressing skills will include shampoo and conditioning hair, dressing hair, plaiting & twisting hair and an introduction to colouring and perming of hair.
– Hairdressing Science – This subject will equip students with an understanding of the scientific principles underlying hairdressing.
– Customer Service – This key subject is especially relevant to working in a salon.
Safety & Health at Work – This will provide the learner with the skills and knowledge to promote and maintain safety and health in the working environment.
– Reception & Front Line Office Skills – this will provide the opportunity to develop the essential reception and front line office skills needed in any modern working environment.

Students have the opportunity to progress to our Level 6 City & Guilds Diploma in Ladies Hairdressing.

Access to Higher Education
A scoring system for QQI/FETAC awards applies for entry through CAO to higher education. The maximum point score possible is 400 if 8 distinctions are achieved. Further information is available on the QQI website www.qqi.ie

Contact Institute - St. Louis Community School
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More details – https://www.findacourse.ie/introduction-hairdressing-level-c6424.html

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February 2014 E-News Update

Findacourse.ie Monthly E-Bulletin
Evening Courses Distance Learning Further Education Fitness Training Business Training Education News Featured Educators
Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter February 2014 E-Bulletin
Education NewsPopular PLC courses
Education News
Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses are full-time programmes available to students who have completed their Leaving Certificate as well as adults returning to full-time education. PLCs are typically run in vocational schools or in voluntary community, comprehensive and secondary schools. Aimed mainly at students who wish to develop technical or vocational skills in order to enter employment or continue to higher education, PLCs typically lead to QQI awards at NFQ level 5 and NFQ level 6.

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Featured Educator Litton Lane Training
Featured Educator
Litton Lane Training offers courses in Fitness Instruction, Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor. The institute has been running health and fitness courses since 1987. As the years pass an increasing number of students are enrolling and graduating from an expanding list of courses. The head office is currently based at Dunboyne Business Park while courses run at a variety of other venues around the country.

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Featured Courses
One Year Part Time Acting/Performance

One Year Part Time Acting/Performance, Dublin

These courses are for the adult student who is committed to the pursuit of excellence in the field of acting. All of our One Year Part Time courses consist of 2 classes per week over 3 ten week terms. The three courses offered in this programme are: – Performance Year in Acting – Advanced Performance Year in Acting – Performance Theatre Company.

Course Details ››

German Level 1

German Level 1, Dublin

Absolute beginners. This course is for students who have no previous knowledge of the German language. All of the main language skills of Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking and Use of language (Grammar) are developed in class. The course is held in Westmoreland Street, Dublin city and also in Milltown Park, Dublin 6(next course 10th February in Milltown park). Graduates of this course can proceed onto higher levels.

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Category Focus Hair and beauty
Featured Category
If you are hoping to become a qualified nail technician, would like to start training as a beauty technician or are looking for hairdressing courses then our Hair and Beauty category is a good place to start your search, or view some Hair and Beauty Training Articles for information, tips and training options in this area.
Featured Article Converting College Courses
Featured Article
Have you ever wanted to convert your degree into something else? Have you ever wanted to specialise in a specific area of interest? Do you want to equip yourself with the necessary skills and qualifications that are currently in short supply? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, conversion courses could be the perfect fit for you to fulfil personal or professional ambitions.

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College Open Days
Open days can be a great way of evaluating a college and getting a flavour of what you can expect in term of facilities, location and class tutors. See a selection of upcoming open days and open evenings on Findacourse.ie

College Open Days ››

Upcoming Open Days
upcoming courses
distance learning courses
Pitman Training
Findacourse.ie, 28 Glenrock Business Park, Ballybane Industrial Estate, Galway
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HEA Report on Higher Education Institutes

hea report, college ratingsThe Higher Education Authority (HEA) has put together a comprehensive set of profiles of each of Ireland’s colleges, universities and institutes which includes information such as enrolments, participation levels, staff profiles, disciplinary mix and funding. It is hoped that the report, which is to be updated annually, will benefit students, parents and guidance counsellors by serving as a reference guide to the performance of higher education in Ireland.

The report will allow the HEA to monitor trends in higher education in terms of areas of study, student numbers and participation as well as the financial and human resource base. Tom Boland, HEA Chief Executive, said the report shows the HEA’s determination to work with the government in its attempt to reform and enhance Ireland’s international reputation in higher level education and its commitment to making Ireland one of the best countries in the world to study.

The report shows the ideal position of the college, in areas such as student to staff ratios, mature students and international enrolment, and where the college currently is in terms of those figures and there are some interesting findings as a result.

In terms of the universities. The results show that UCD has a low amount of mature entrants and UCC has a low number of flexible learning opportunities. TCD has a high number of research students but a low number of mature entrants. NUI has a high number of mature students and provides good flexible learning opportunities and DCU also has a high number of flexible learners. University of Limerick has low numbers in terms of mature and flexible learners also.

The colleges results show that Mary Immaculate College in Limerick provides no opportunities for flexible learners and has no international students. International enrolment figures were the same for St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra and were slightly better in terms of providing for flexible learning. St Angela’s College of Education in Sligo has good numbers of flexible learners.

Regarding institutes of technology; Athlone Institute of Technology has good numbers in terms of international enrolment but could do more for flexible learning and mature entrants. Cork Institute of Technology has a good student to staff ratio but falls short again in mature students and flexible learning. DIT has a low number of level 6/7 enrolments but shows a high amount of PHD graduates among staff members. Dundalk Institute of Technology has very low numbers of flexible learners but a high number of international students. GMIT has high numbers of level 6/7 enrolment but low numbers of flexible learners.

This is only a small selection of the many colleges, universities and institutes of technology and the full list and report can be found at www.hea.ie. The HEA say that the purpose of this report is not to rank the various institutions but to highlight the areas that need attention following the drop in quality in higher education due to the economic downturn. At a glance, it certainly does appear that work needs to be done to better provide for flexible and mature learning as this is a common area where figures are lower than they should be.

Fiona McBennett

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The Changing Face of Further Education

further education and plc coursesFurther education includes training and education that takes place after second level but not as part of the third level system. A wide variety of further education providers, such as schools, institutions and organisations, are involved in delivering education to school leavers and adults all around the country.

Up until 6 November 2012, FETAC was responsible for quality assurance of further education. From that date on, QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) was established as a replacement and since then it has been working to improve the development of qualifications and quality assurance, monitor the awarding and validation of qualifications and supervise the educational providers.

In 2013, QQI began a Comprehensive Policy Development Programme and published the first Strategy Statement of Qualifications and Quality Ireland on November 27th. This strategy statement covers a three year period, from January 2014 to December 2016, and sets out the goals and missions the QQI have for further education and how they plan to achieve them. Over these three years the QQI hope to improve the quality of further education in Ireland and provide more opportunities and flexibility for learners.

The QQI have 6 main goals for the future of further education:
1. To establish a set of policies with the National Framework of Qualifications
2. To place the learner at the centre of the policies
3. To assure the quality of educational providers by clearly setting out standards that will enhance the quality of learning
4. To create educational opportunities that meet employment and cultural needs
5. To provide clear information to the public on qualifications and role of the QQI
6. To ensure that QQI staff are equipped with the necessary skills to create and manage change and to regularly monitor and review the strategy and the QQI’s performance.

These plans for improvement in further education by the QQI are crucial now as Ireland seeks to increase employment and rebuild the economy. Increased variety in trainings and qualifications established to suit the current labour market mean that many will be encouraged to enrol in further education with the knowledge that their qualification will be of a high standard and valuable to them when seeking employment. For more information on the QQI and the strategy statement visit: www.qqi.ie

Fiona McBennett

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UCAS Options

ucas uk 2014Students applying to study in the UK through UCAS should be aware that the closing date for the majority of applications is January 15th at 6pm. Some art and design courses have a closing date of March 24th, as do some part-time courses where the student applies directly to the provider. Oxford, Cambridge or professional courses in medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine/science have a later closing date of October 15th. To be sure of the correct deadline, students should check the individual course details.

UCAS recommend applying early and say that students who submit an application by 6pm on January 15th are guaranteed consideration by universities and colleges in the UK. There are some universities and colleges that allow extended deadlines for international applications but students are asked to check with them directly.

There are different application forms and deadlines according to each course so students should fill out the relevant application form online. Students are able to track their application and universities and colleges can make an offer either unconditionally; where the offer is made because the student has met the entry requirements or conditionally; where the offer is based on the student’s exam results.

Once the offers have been made, the student must reply to their offers by a specific deadline. If a student’s firm acceptance is unconditional then they have the place. If it’s conditional then the student has the place if they meet the entry requirements and the student can also choose an insurance acceptance as a back up. Students are asked to decline the offers they do not want.

Students must then wait to hear if the university or college confirms the place. If he/she does not meet the conditions of offer the university or college may not confirm the place, but if the student does meet the conditions they are guaranteed the place. If a student exceeds their offer conditions they may be able to look at alternative courses while their current place is still held for them. If a student does not get an offer or has declined all their offers then they can add more choices using the UCAS Extra service (which begins on February 25th) or once the clearing has started they can see which courses still have places available.

UCAS have specific advice for international applicants. Each student must enter in all the qualifications they have already and that they are currently doing. Students may have to give proof of their qualifications by sending in exam certificates or transcripts. International students have to write a personal statement about why they want to study the subject they are applying for and are asked to check the specific personal statement requirement for each type of study. Students need to mention why they want to study in the UK and be an international student and also to explain their English language skills.

Visit www.ucas.com for more information on applications and closing dates.

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January 2014 E-News

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Education NewsMaking New Year Resolutions Work
Education News
Three of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to get in shape, lose weight, and stop smoking. The most obvious way to do at least two of the above is to start a fitness routine. Typically, fitness classes and gyms are packed full in January and then once March rolls around numbers have dwindled down. But New Year’s resolutions, carefully considered and with the right outlook, can last all year long.

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Featured Educator PCI College
Featured Educator
PCI College, one of Irelands leading providers of training and education in the field of counselling and psychotherapy, and in related fields such as supervision and suicide studies. PCI College are committed to making high quality training available in these areas, and many of the courses meet the accreditation criteria of the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy..

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Featured Courses
NEFPC Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Group Instructor Certificate

NEFPC Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Group Instructor Certificate, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Armagh

National Elite Fitness Professional Certificate. Become a Certified Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Group Instructor.After getting together with 8 of Ireland’s top Fitness educators and innovators, the NEFPC have launched a revolutionary curriculum of industry leading EHFA Accredited courses. Providing tools and strategies to get on the fast track to success as a Fitness instructor and Personal Trainer.

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Specialist Diploma in Lean Healthcare

Specialist Diploma in Lean Healthcare, Distance Learning

The University of Limerick in collaboration with the Irish Society for Quality and Safety in Healthcare, The Adelaide, Meath and National Children’s Hospitals at Tallaght and the Bon Secours Hospital Group have come together to develop an innovative, distance education, part-time programme which will allow participants to put Lean thinking into practice in Irish healthcare. Apply before January 12th if interested.

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Category Focus IT Training and Computers
Featured Category
From PC Basics for those unfamiliar with computing, to typing skills and Microsoft training for those wishing to advance their IT skills, onto Web Design, Programming, e-commerce and more for those who wish to pursue or further a specialist career in Information technology. Why not check out our IT Training Section for a full list of courses available in this field or see some Computer Training articles in our articles section
Featured Article Alternatives to FAS (now Solas) for Skills Training
Featured Article
If a career in hospitality, food, tourism, forestry, farming, crafts or fishing is what you are seeking, then it could be time to think beyond FÁS (now Solas) and discover the various other government funded agencies that are out there. Fáilte Ireland, Teagasc, Coillte, Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the Crafts Council Ireland are all directly linked to a specific commercial or industrial sector and offer a range of full and part-time courses.

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College Open Days
Open days can be a great way of evaluating a college and getting a flavour of what you can expect in term of facilities, location and class tutors. See a selection of upcoming open days and open evenings on Findacourse.ie

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Upcoming Open Days
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Pitman Training
Findacourse.ie, 28 Glenrock Business Park, Ballybane Industrial Estate, Galway
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Evening Courses Cork

Whether it’s toning up in a Zumba class, studying to improve your chances of getting that promotion you’ve been after or learning a completely new language, there are lots of part time and evening courses available in Cork city and county.

Below is a sample of what’s on offer:

Cork College of Commerce provides a generous selection of evening courses ranging from QQI level 5/6 courses in subjects such as Event Management and Digital Marketing. It also offers courses in Leaving Certificate subjects such as Irish and English and a range of other business related courses. Visit www.corkcollegeofcommerce.ie

Ballincollig Community School commence their classes in January and September each year. They offer courses in the following areas; arts and crafts, community and education, computers, cookery, hobbies and skills, languages, social and development and sports and exercise. Visit www.bcsadulted.ie

The Irish Film Academy holds a 6 month Acting for the Camera evening course. Entry is by interview only. More details can be found at www.irishfilmacademy.com

West Cork College begins its new term of classes in January and again in September. The college offers evening courses in literature based activities including photography, Irish cinema and Philosophy. Visit www.westcorkcollege.ie for more information.

With the wealth of options that are out there, there’s no excuse for anyone not to sign up for a course, what better way to spend the long nights than learning something new in an enjoyable atmosphere with like minded people.

Find more courses in Cork at https://www.findacourse.ie/courses/cork/

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