Eurostudent Survey of Higher Education Students in Ireland

student survey IrelandA new report report, which presents the findings of the sixth Eurostudent survey of over 20,000 higher education students in Ireland, provides a wealth of internationally comparable demographic, economic and social data. This data provides insights into the quality of life of the increasingly diverse student population in Irish higher education.

Findings of the report included the following points..

  • High levels of overall student satisfaction with the quality of teaching the timetabling of studies and the facilities of the institution.
  • Furthermore, students appear to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them from their institution.
  • Students also report high levels of ‘fitting into’ higher education and appear to have few doubts that higher education was the right choice for them. This is further demonstrated by most students reporting that they would recommend their choice of programme to other students.

Eurostudent is a network of researchers and data collectors, representative of national ministries and other stakeholders who have joined forces to examine the social and economic conditions of student life in higher education systems in Europe.

The main aim of the Eurostudent project is to collate comparable data from 26 countries on the social dimension of European higher education. Eurostudent is a network of researchers and data collectors, representative of national ministries and other stakeholders who have joined forces to examine the social and economic conditions of student life in higher education systems in Europe

The Irish study is overseen by the HEA on behalf of the Department and was undertaken by Insight Consultants. This publication will include information collated from higher education institutes on the social dimension of higher education in Ireland as provided by a survey completed by students.

It focuses on the socio-economic background and on the living conditions of students. It also investigates other interesting aspects of student life such as international mobility and employment during term-time.

This report provides results from over 20,000 students attending higher education institutions in Ireland and provides insightful information relating to the demographic profile of students, course characteristic, entry routes, accommodation, employment and other relevant issues on student life. The information collated helps us to comprehend more succinctly the quality of life of the increasingly diverse student population in Irish higher education and how this influences their learning experience.

The findings cover areas such as demographics, course characteristics, disability, college entry route, income and expenditure, accommodation, employment and student.

View the full report at;

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What is Erasmus Plus?

Erasmus plusErasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for the years 2014 to 2020. It provides funding and support for organisations to operate projects consistent with its objectives and which encourage European exchange, co-operation and learning. Erasmus+ is funded by the European Union through the contributions of member states, including Ireland. Funding of almost €170 million has been allocated to Ireland for the duration of the programme.

Erasmus+ funding is available to all sectors (or fields) of formal, informal and non-formal education. Structurally, Erasmus+ is divided into three ‘Key Actions’ describing the kind of project activities possible.

What are the programme objectives?

Erasmus+ aims to modernise and improve the quality of teaching, training and youth work across Europe, and to support the development, transfer and implementation of innovative practices. These objectives are closely tied with the Europe 2020 strategy of achieving a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020 for all of Europe’s citizens. Fundamental goals for Erasmus+ include improving key competences and skills, and fostering partnerships between education and employment. The programme also seeks to promote European values as stated in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Who can participate?

Erasmus+ is open to private or public organisations active in the fields of adult education, higher education, school education, sport, vocational education and training, and youth and community work, in any participating country. While the programme enables individuals to travel, work, volunteer and study abroad, project applications from individuals themselves are not accepted. However, individuals may apply to attend Transnational Cooperation Activities with the support of their organisations.

Management and Structure

Management of the programme is divided between the Directorate General for Education and Culture (DGEAC) of the European Commission, and National Agencies in the participating countries. Léargas ( is the Irish National Agency for Erasmus+ in the adult education, school education, vocational education and training, and youth fields. For third level higher level education Erasmus+ is dealt with by the HEA (Higher Education Authority) (

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Engage ’18 – Galway, Adult Learning Event

Engage GalwayFor those interested in up-skilling, changing careers, or are unsure about what study option to take, Engage ’18 takes place on Saturday, 27th January in the Connacht Hotel, Dublin Road, Galway, from 10-1pm. 

Following its success in 2017, this unique event is back this year and brings together further and higher education providers with representatives from GMIT, GRETB and NUI Galway.

This event focuses on adult learners and brings together careers advisors and educational providers in the Galway region. One-to-one consultations are available for those who wish to speak directly with a career counsellor.

engage galway

Representatives from the following Industry areas will attend Engage ‘18 to provide advice on career options in a diverse range of areas. The focus will be on employability, job categories and specific skill sets employers are seeking.

Industry areas include:

  • Medical Devices
  • Construction
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Business and Sales
  • Creative Arts
  • Information Technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Apprenticeships
  • Healthcare
  • Social Impact field

Representatives from GRETB Apprenticeship team will also be on hand on the day with information on the full range of over 40 apprenticeships/traineeships in a range of sectors including Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Finance, IT, Hospitality and Motor.


Representatives from the Regional Skills Forum West, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board and NUI Galway will be available to discuss further education and support options for those who wish to return to further education and training. Additionally, representatives from Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) will be available to discuss any queries on grants, funding and entitlements you may have.

REGISTRATION Registration to attend Engage ‘18 is free and may be done online at the link below.

NB: One-to-one consultations are made on a first come, first served basis on the day so come early to avoid disappointment.

Where: Connacht Hotel, Old Dublin Road, Galway.

When: Saturday 27 January, 2018 from 10.00 – 1.00pm

Find out more:

Register today:

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PLC Programmes Lead to Positive Outcomes but Lacking in Terms of Labour Market Needs

plc courses not matching labour needsNew ESRI research finds that PLC courses have positive outcomes for students in terms of accessing employment and progressing to higher education. However, the study finds that PLC courses could be more responsive to changing labour market needs. The types of courses have not changed over time despite dramatic changes in the types of jobs available in Ireland.

Approximately 32,000 learners are currently enrolled in Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses, the largest component of full-time further education and training in Ireland. New research from the ESRI shows that PLC courses enhance employment chances and progression to higher education for learners but could be made more responsive to a changing labour market. The study is based on new surveys of PLC principals and PLC and Leaving Certificate leavers.

Outcomes for PLC learners

  • PLC learners were 16 per cent more likely to be in employment and 27 per cent more likely to have progressed to higher education after completing their courses than those who left education after the Leaving Certificate and had similar characteristics.

PLC programme objectives

  • PLC courses serve a number of objectives: vocational education and training for young people, second-chance education for older adults, and a progression route into higher education.
  • A stronger distinction is required between programmes focused on preparing students for immediate entry to the labour market and those where the emphasis is on facilitating progression to higher education.

PLC and the labour market

  • The types of PLC courses offered have not changed markedly over time even though there has been a dramatic shift in the kinds of jobs available in the Irish labour market. Decisions around which course to offer tend to be driven by student demand rather than skill needs in the economy. There is therefore a need to develop systems to ensure that those PLC courses focused on the labour market are aligned with employer requirements and responsive to changing labour market needs.
  • Employer engagement at local level is crucial. Around half of PLC principals report that their staff meets with local employers frequently (at least three times a year) but this is less common for smaller PLC providers.
  • Not all PLC learners feel prepared for the world of work. Over a fifth report not having taken part in a work experience placement during the course of their studies. Almost a third felt that their learning did not contribute to their employability and a quarter considered that they did not acquire job-related knowledge and skills.

Characteristics and experiences of PLC students

  • One of the goals of PLC provision is to facilitate social inclusion. PLC learners are more likely to be from less educated family backgrounds, are more likely to be older and have children, and have a higher incidence of special educational needs than those who go on directly to higher education. Thus, PLC provision tends to provide access to educational opportunities for a socially diverse group.
  • PLC students were largely satisfied with the relevance of courses and the vast majority felt their teachers and tutors had the required knowledge and were supportive.
  • PLC courses are still seen as a compromise, in a context of not achieving sufficient grades to pursue higher education, highlighting the continued lower status of further education in Ireland.
  • Financial challenges constituted the single greatest difficulty for PLC students, largely because of less financial support from family and a higher incidence of caring responsibilities (compared to higher education students) which restricted their employment opportunities.

Professor Seamus McGuinness, an author of the report, said that: ‘The findings show positive outcomes for those who have completed PLC courses. At the same time, more could be done to ensure that PLC provision responds to on-going changes in the Irish labour market. It is also important to challenge the idea that PLC courses are ‘second-best’ compared to higher education.’

View the full report at

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Computer Science Subject to be added to Leaving Cert Curriculum

Computer Science Leaving Cert SubjectMinister for Education, Richard Bruton has announced that 40 post primary schools around the country will start studying Leaving Certificate Computer Science from September 2018 and will be the first to sit an exam in the subject in 2020.

The introduction of Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject is part of the Government’s overall commitment to embed digital technology in teaching and learning. This announcement is one of a range of actions being taken in this area, as outlined in the STEM strategy and Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Ireland the best education and training service in Europe by 2026. It also complements other curricular changes being implemented such as introducing coding and computational thinking as part of the new maths curriculum for primary schools.

Computer Science for Leaving Certificate focuses on how programming and computational thinking can be applied to the solution of problems, and how computing technology impacts the world around us.

Students will learn

  • Computational thinking
  • How to analyse problems in computational terms
  • Programming languages and how to read, write, test and modify computer programs
  • Creative design
  • Design computational artefacts such as web pages, digital animations, simulations, games, apps and robotic systems
  • The ethical, historical, environmental and technological aspects of Computer Science, and how it impacts the social and economic development of society.

The 40 schools announced today will begin studying the subject from September 2018 and are listed below.

Abbey Vocational School
The Glebe, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal

Adamstown Community College
Station Rd, Adamstown, Co. Dublin

Breifne College
Cootehill Rd, Cavan, Co. Cavan

Bush Post Primary
Riverstown, Dundalk, Co. Louth

Carrigaline Community School
Waterpark, Carrigaline, Co. Cork

Castleblayney College
Dublin Road, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan

Christ King Girls Secondary School
Half Moon Lane, South Douglas Road, Cork

Clongowes Wood College
Clane, Co. Kildare

Coláiste an Chraoibhin
Duntaheen Road, Fermoy, Co. Cork

Coláiste Bríde
New Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Coláiste Chiaráin
Croom, Co. Limerick

Coláiste Choilm
Ballincollig, Co. Cork

Coláiste Mhuire
Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Coláiste na Ríochta
Listowel, Co. Kerry

Colaiste Phadraig
Roselawn, Lucan, Co. Dublin

Coláiste Pobail Setanta
Phibblestown CC, Phibblestown, Dublin 15

Creagh College
Carnew Road, Gorey, Co. Wexford

Dominican College Sion Hill
Sion Hill, Blackrock, Co Dublin

Ennistymon Vocational School
Ennistymon, Ennis, Co. Clare

Gaelcholaiste Mhuire AG
An Mhainistir Thuaidh, Corcaigh

Le Chéile Secondary School
Hollystown Road, Tyrellstown, Dublin 15

Loreto College
Swords, Co. Dublin

Luttrellstown Community College
Mill Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

Mayfield Community School
Old Youghal Road, Mayfield, Cork

Moate Community School
Church Street, Moate, Co. Westmeath

Mount Sion CBS
Barrack Street, Waterford

Mount Temple Comprehensive
Malahide Road, Dublin 3

Presentation Secondary school
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

Rice College
Castlebar Road, Westport, Co. Mayo

Sacred Heart Secondary School
Convent of Mercy, Clonakilty, Co. Cork

Saint Eunan’s College
Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

St Aidan’s Comprehensive School
Cootehill, Co. Cavan

St Brigids Mercy Secondary School
Convent Of Mercy, Tuam, Co. Galway

St Joseph’s Secondary School
Convent Lane, Rush, Co. Dublin

St Mary’s CBS
Millpark Road, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

St Vincent’s Secondary School
Seatown Place, Dundalk, Co. Louth

St. Finian’s Community College
Swords, Co. Dublin

Stratford College
1 Zion Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6

Synge St CBS
Synge St., Dublin 8

Terenure College
Templeogue Road, Terenure, Dublin 6W

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Part Time Courses at Community & Comprehensive Schools

evening classes at Community SchoolsThere are numerous Community and Comprehensive Schools in Ireland which run a range of adult education evening and night classes at this time of year. Everything from art  to zumba will be available in many of these schools, with a variety of QQI (formerly FETAC) courses on offer for adults who want to pick up formal qualifications and boost their employability. There will also be plenty on offer for those who wish to take up a new hobby or get fit in the company of others with dance or yoga classes.

Most classes run in the evenings, though some schools also run day-time and weekend courses.

Schools running QQI certified adult education courses – ranging from full level 5 and level 6 qualifications in Health Care Support, Animal Care, Special Needs Assisting and Early Childhood Care to component modules in Train the Trainer, Mental Health Awareness and Safety and Health at Work – include Carrigaline Community School, Kinsale Community School (Cork); Cabinteely Community School, Donahies Community School (Dublin); Scoil Mhuire Clane, Colaiste Chiaran Leixlip (Kildare); O’Fiaich Institute Dundalk (Louth); Boyne Community School (Meath) and Gorey Community School (Wexford).

​You can complete the full ECDL qualification at Cabinteely CS, Donahies CS, Gorey CS, Palmerstown CS, Scoil Mhuire Clane while ECDL Essentials is run at Ashbourne CS, Boyne CS, Newpark CS and St Colmcille’s CS. NUI Maynooth certified courses in Local History (Old Bawn Community School), Addiction Studies (Donahies Community School), Community Development and Leadership (Donahies ) and Psychology (Old Bawn, Donahies) are also available.

​O’Fiaich Institute and Scoil Mhuire Clane run a range of ITEC Beauty courses, you can gain Irish Academy of Public Relations qualifications at Old Bawn Community School, O’Fiaich Institute, Malahide Community School and Hartstown Community School, while you can gain CompTIA certification and Microsoft office Specialist status at Scoil Mhuire in Clane. Irish Sign Language Association certificate courses are run at Old Bawn Community School; St Tiernan’s Community School offers IPAS Certificate in Payroll Technician, and you can undertake the Primary Course in Food Safety at Boyne Community School in Trim. Many schools also run certified First Aid courses.

Most of these schools runs an Art class, a Computer course and a Cookery course. ​Pilates, Yoga, Pottery, Patchwork, Digital Photography, Music, Mindfulness, Genealogy, Pottery and Language classes are also popular.

Evening Classes at Malahide Community School
Walk-in enrolment for all classes:
Monday 22nd January 2018 — 7.30 – 9.00pm
Students can meet the course tutors at this session. Complimentary tea/coffee will also
be available at this enrolment/open evening.
NB. Staff are not available to take enrolment outside of these listed times.
Online Enrolment at
Classes begin week starting:
29th January 2018 and last for 10 weeks unless otherwise stated.

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CMI College January Enrolments

CMI College DublinNew Year, New Courses offered by CMI, Communications and Management Institute in Dublin. What better way to start the year? CMI are now very busy enrolling for courses starting in February 2018.

Whether it is a professional qualification you need to change career or up-skill or perhaps a distance learning course to fit around a busy schedule, there is a career focused course for everyone. The classes on offer are listed below. For further information, contact CMI College using the form below. More information about CMI can be viewed at the following link;

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Courses Starting in February

  • Addiction Studies
  • Child Psychology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Procurement certificate
  • Environmental Management
  • Fashion Buying & Merchandising
  • Logistics & Supply Chain Management Diploma
  • Criminal Psychology Diploma
  • Event Management Diploma
  • Procurement & Supply Diploma
  • Retail Operations Management Diploma
  • PMP Project Management Certification
  • Health & Safety Certificate
  • Journalism & Media
  • Business Management & Psychology Diploma
  • CSI & Criminology Diploma
  • Management Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma in Project Management
  • Sales Management Diploma
  • Marketing , Advertising , PR & Sales Diploma
  • HR Development Advanced Diploma
  • Advanced CSI & Forensic Science Diploma
  • Health & Safety Diploma

View CMI College website at:

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Making New Year Resolutions Work

new years resolutionsThree 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.

Motivating yourself, persistence, long-term thinking, and getting support are all crucial to making resolutions work. If you consider exercise as boring and painful and something that you should do rather than what you want to do, chances are you won’t be motivated. To get in shape, or to stay in shape requires planning, willpower, discipline, and finding ways to motivate yourself every day. Basically, figure out what will motivate you. If you want to dance, don’t bother lifting weights.

Resolutions may not be easy and probably won’t be smooth sailing (cue the willpower and discipline). Chances are you’ll miss a few workouts, but that’s no reason to give up. Persistence is key and if you can help it, don’t stop. Think long term; resolutions don’t need to be confined by the calendar year so if you want to get fit this year, you’ll probably want to stay fit next year. Finally, ask friends and family members to help you or take a class as opposed to getting fit on your own. Classes can give support in good times and bad and will provide a way of getting fit in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. There are many classes starting in January including yoga, dance, golf, and kickboxing.
new years resolutions - courses
If you want to brush up your golf swing, prepare for next years’ Strictly Come Dancing, or work on your meditation practice, Community Schools may be what you’re looking for. Community schools offer a wide variety of different fitness classes that range from about eight to ten weeks in duration. Malahide Community School offers adult learning courses in golf, belly dancing, salsa dancing, and yoga. In Tallaght, the Old Bawn Community School offers classes in both ballroom and salsa dancing, golf, kick-boxing, and yoga at all levels, yoga for pregnancy, pilates, and tai chi.

Many schools specialise in particular types of fitness including The Dance Theatre of Ireland in Dublin, which has a range of dance classes including latin and ballroom, salsa, and contemporary dance. Courses start at €90 and run for ten weeks from January. If you’re more interested in the downward facing dog than the rumba, there are schools and institutes that specialise in yoga and pilates. AnamYoga in the Limerick, Castleconnell, and Nenagh areas offer a twelve week sivananda yoga course. The Tree of Life, Malahide Holistic Centre provides ashtanga, hatha yoga, and pilates. Other fitness classes can be found at

If you prefer a more academic approach to your health, Kilroy’s College offers a fitness, health, and nutrition distance learning course that allows students to learn how to assess their own fitness level and evaluate their current state of health. Or if you might prefer boosting your personal skills over physical fitness goals then Pitman Training run an assertiveness course in several locations around Ireland.

Resolutions don’t have to be a burden, despite the challenges of discipline, motivation, and persistence increasing fitness can be a great and enjoyable experience that lasts much longer than just a year.

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Certificate in Payroll Techniques Through Distance Learning – February 2018

certificate in payroll techniques 2017Now enrolling for classes Nationwide and Distance/Online learning
 commencing 12th February 2018

The Certificate in Payroll Techniques (CPT) 
This qualification provides payroll personnel with a nationally recognised qualification by which they can be evaluated. The syllabus for this IPASS qualification was prepared following consultation with payroll professionals in industry, commerce and in the public sector, and it reflects the diverse range of skills and knowledge which all payroll professionals require in order to function efficiently.

What qualification will I obtain? 
Successful students will obtain the Certificate in Payroll Techniques which is accredited by QQI as a Level 6 Special Purpose qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications.

The course material includes numerous examples and self assessment questions which students can use to develop their knowledge while they study. The course is extremely practical and interesting and is designed to allow students to progress at a realistic pace. Whether you already work in payroll, or not, you will find this course extremely interesting, practical and relevant to you.

Who should enrol?
Anyone who is responsible for maintaining a company’s PAYE, PRSI and USC records
People responsible for the completion of PAYE, PRSI and USC Returns
Accounts Managers and staff
People working in a finance department
Accountants and Accounting Technicians
People who wish to improve their knowledge of the Irish PAYE, PRSI and USC system
Anyone who wants to obtain a valuable qualification

Benefit to Graduates

Hold a QQI accredited Level 6 qualification
Become an invaluable member of an employers’ financial team, by being aware of their employer’s compliance obligations in a highly technical area
Greatly enhance career development prospects
Enhance payroll skills, technical expertise and confidence
Develop professional skills and abilities through the application of advanced training
Develop a network of contacts in a range of businesses working in the same specialist field.

View more about this course on IPASS Website

View this and other IPASS courses on

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Comptia Training Courses

comptia training coursesThe Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) was established in 1982 in order to advance and develop the growth of the information technology (IT) industry, and those working within it. Today it is the leading global IT trade association and has influence in all areas of the IT industry worldwide. CompTIA facilitates the growth of the IT industry by promoting industry standards, growing professional IT expertise, providing IT skills education, and developing relevant business solutions.

Through the years CompTIA has developed specialized initiatives and programs dedicated to major areas within the industry as those areas, themselves, were developing. This association follows and predicts trends and technological advances within the IT industry. CompTIA is able to create interest in and understanding of categories like: convergence technology, e-commerce, IT training, software services, certification, public policy, workforce development, and technology learning.

CompTIA has created and developed certified exams. It is the world’s largest developer of vendor-neutral IT certification exams. CompTIA employs the assistance of experts and industry leaders from both public and private sectors (such as training, academia, government, etc.) to develop broad-based, foundational exams, that accurately assess an individual’s IT skill set.

An example of one of these certified exams is the CompTIA Network+ certification. Network+ (Network Plus) is a mid-level certification for network technicians. This certification is designed to test the competency of a mid-level network technician in supporting and configuring TCP/IP clients in terms of network design, cabling, hardware setup, configuration, installation, support, and troubleshooting.

CompTIA also sponsors certification for document imaging (Certified Document Imaging Architech [CDIA]) and a hardware certification exam (A+). The CompTIA certifications are usually more basic and less product-specific than other certifications, such as Microsoft’s MCSE or a Novell CNE.
comptia training courses
Kilroys College run the Network+ – IT Skills Preparation course for the CompTIA A+ certification. This is a Distance Learning course. If you are interested in becoming a Network administrator or PC Support Specialist, then this CompTIA sponsored Network+ course could be for you. It will help you prepare for the Network+ exam, which will give any prospective employer proof that you possess the required technical knowledge and skills to support a network. It also gives you the perfect foundation to build on towards other IT qualifications.

The College of Management and IT (CMIT) offer a comprehensive e-learning course to prepare students for the A+ Certification from CompTIA. The CompTIA A+ certification is the industry standard for computer support technicians and it proves competence in areas such as installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security and troubleshooting. CompTIA A+ certified technicians also have excellent customer service and communication skills to work with clients. This course is suitable for IT Technician, Enterprise Technician, PC Technician, Desktop Support Technician, Field Technician, PC Support Specialists or People considering a career as a PC Technician. It is also ideal for A+ certified professionals who are encouraged or required by their employers to remain current on their certifications. Once you successfully complete the programme, you will receive a Diploma in Advanced PC Maintenance from CMIT and following successful completion of the exams you will receive CompTIA certification.

Dorset College run a number of IT courses including their full-time course:  Computer Systems Engineer (CompTIA A+ & CISCO) and part-time courses in CompTIA A+ / IT Essentials and CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI.

CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI validates the fundamental knowledge and skills required of junior Linux administrators. The aim of the Linux+ course is to demonstrate a wide range of skills required in today’s complex IT environments.

It is recommended that participants have CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and at least 12 months of Linux administration experience. Professionals holding the CompTIA Linux+ credential can explain fundamental management of Linux systems from the command line, demonstrate knowledge of user administration, understand file permissions, software configurations and management of Linux-based clients, server systems and security. Because of the growing popularity of enterprise-ready platforms such as Linux, both employers and professionals realise the importance of skill validation. The industry recognises that a CompTIA Linux+ certification is a good indicator of foundational proficiency in everyday management of Linux-based clients and basic management of server systems.

In order to participate and complete any of the above courses, (depending on the course provider and type of course) you must have good working knowledge of ECDL or equivalent, and/or relevant work experience. Some advanced courses will require completion of other CompTIA courses before progression is allowed. Contact the relevant college to establish their individual requirements.

CompTIA Certification is the starting point for a career in IT. There are excellent progression routes taking IT certifications from basic skills to advanced technical specialties in order to build a successful career in IT. Their certified exams are proof of your professional achievement, providing you with a solid credential leading to better job opportunities and a well-defined career path. This will give you an advantage over other candidates when applying for a job. There are also specific areas such as networking, security, software technology, or hardware support that you can specialise in.

IT is one of the few growing industries today that consistently experience difficulties in recruiting enough graduates and workers to fill vacancies. Demand for skilled Network Support professionals has grown significantly over the past few years. Leading technology companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Intel have identified Network+ as the perfect entry point into a networking career.

Find Comptia and other Computer Training Courses on at

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Erasmus+ 2018 Deadline Dates

erasmus plusErasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for the years 2014 to 2020. It provides funding and support for organisations to operate projects consistent with its objectives and which encourage European exchange, co-operation and learning. Erasmus+ is funded by the European Union through the contributions of member states, including Ireland. Funding of almost €170 million has been allocated to Ireland for the duration of the programme.

The Erasmus+ application deadlines for 2018 are listed below. All deadlines close strictly at 11:00am Irish time. For full details, be sure to check the official Erasmus+ Programme Guide.

What are Key Actions?
Key Actions (also referred to as Actions) is the collective name for activities and projects that can be funded under Erasmus+. There are three Key Action areas which can be summarised as:

  • Mobility (Key Action 1)
  • Cooperation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices (Key Action 2)
  • Support for Policy Reform (Key Action 3)

Key Action 1
Adult Education Mobility (KA104): 01 February
School Education Mobility (KA101): 01 February
Vocational and Educational Training Mobility (KA102 or KA116): 01 February
Vocational and Educational Training Mobility Charter Accreditation (KA109): 17 May
Youth Mobility (KA105) (includes Youth Exchanges, Youth Worker Mobility, Youth Volunteering)*: 15 February, 26 April, 04 October

Key Action 2
Adult Education (KA204) Strategic Partnerships: 21 March
School Education (KA201 or KA219) Strategic Partnerships: 21 March
Vocational and Educational Training (KA202) Strategic Partnerships: 21 March
Youth (KA205) Strategic Partnerships supporting Exchange of Good Practice or Transnational Youth Initiatives*: 15 February, 26 April
Youth (KA205) Strategic Partnerships supporting Innovation*: 04 October

Key Action 3
Youth (KA347) Meetings between young people and decision-makers: 15 February, 26 April, 04 October*

*Project activity dates for Youth deadlines:
15 February deadline – for projects starting between 01 May and 30 September 2018
26 April deadline – for projects starting between 01 August and 31 December 2018
04 October deadline – for projects starting between 01 January and 31 May 2019

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Benefits of Learning a Language

language coursesReports in recent years have shown that there is a shortage of language skills in Ireland and that this could be holding Ireland back in terms of competing internationally. Ireland and Scotland are the only 2 countries in the European Union, where it is not obligatory to learn a foreign language in school and Ireland also has the highest percentage of citizens in the EU (66%) that are not fluent in languages other than their first language.

With this skills gap comes opportunity, graduates who have studied a foreign language are in a strong position in the labour market. A second European language has been shown to increase long-term job opportunities and graduates who have a language combined with another skill, like marketing or sales, are even more employable as the employment market continues to become more global. Many companies communicate with clients internationally and so the ability to speak another language can be an advantage in many fields.

Areas where language skills are asset are tourism, sales, marketing, conference management or customer relations as well as teaching positions, interpreting or translating. Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is an increasingly popular job and a great way to travel as many TEFL companies are looking for eager graduates to teach English abroad.

Sandford Languages Institute in Dublin offers courses in over 30 different languages including Arabic, Bulgarian, Spanish, Chinese and many more. The Institute runs these courses on a part-time evening bases and also provides in-company courses and private tuitions. The evening courses are typically 12 to 14 weeks long and cover all levels from beginner to level 2, including intensive introduction courses and advanced refresher courses. All the tutors are native speakers and fully qualified teachers. Check out for more details.

Malahide Community School offers part-time evening courses in languages such as French, Italian, Spanish and German. The courses are 10 weeks in length and are aimed at beginners. For more information go to

NUI Galway offers part-time evening diplomas in French, Italian and Spanish. Each of the courses are aimed at complete beginners and introduce the basic elements of the languages and run for 2 years, with a class once a week. There is also a distance learning course available; a Diploma in Italian, which is the first course of its kind to be developed by an Irish University. This course allows the student to be involved in the latest skills in e-learning and while having the flexibility of studying a language in their own time. The course, unlike other distance learning programmes, is based on a communicative, collaborative approach and students are encouraged to participate in online classes with their peers and tutor. For more information on any of the courses offered by NUI Galway go to

Besides the obvious career benefits of learning a foreign language, having the ability to speak anther language can also be a great help when you are on holidays abroad. Rather than relying on dodgy sign language to communicate, just think how great it would be to be able to converse freely with locals with confidence! Whether you want to be able to deal with business professionals in French, teach English to students in Spain or order a glass of wine in Italy, there are courses out there for everyone and they are well worth checking out.

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Fiona McBennett

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26 New Apprenticeships Announced

apprenticeship options in Ireland26 new national apprenticeships have been approved for further development in areas ranging from Animation to Healthcare. These new apprenticeships span a wide range of skills and sectors and will be developed in response to identified skill needs in the economy. A number of programmes in existing industry sectors such as construction, engineering, hospitality and ICT will be expanded. New apprenticeships will also be developed for the first time in a number of new areas such as healthcare, equine science and agriculture.

This Government has committed to more than doubling the number of new apprentices registered to 9,000 by 2020 and expanding further into new areas. Budget 2018 allocated €122m for apprenticeship training, an increase of almost 24% on the previous year.

All of the new apprenticeships are flexible, ranging in duration from two years to four years and will be offered at levels 5 to 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications. Following today’s announcement, the proposals will now move forward to the detailed development stage. It is estimated that the development process will take between 12 and 15 months.

The new apprenticeships going forward for further development are listed below;

Applied Horticulture Level 6
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: Teagasc
Certifier: Teagasc

Arboriculture Level 5
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: Caseys Tree Care Ltd, North West Tree Care, Kilcoyne Tree Care, Arborist Ireland
Certifier: Galway Roscommon ETB

Associate Sales Professional Level 6
Duration: 3 years
Training Provider: Sales Sense
Certifier: Mayo Sligo & Leitrim ETB

CGI Technical Artist (Animation, Games, VFX) Level 9
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: Screen Training Ireland
Certifier: Dublin IT

Equipment Systems Engineer Level 9
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: SL Controls
Certifier: University of Limerick

Farm Management Level 7
Duration 4 years
Training Provider: Teagasc
Certifier: Teagasc

Farm Technician Level 6
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: Teagasc
Certifier: Teagasc

Geo-Driller Level 6
Duration: 3 years
Training Provider: Geological Survey Ireland
Certifier: IT Carlow

ICT Associate Professional in Cybersecurity Level 6
Duration 2 years
Training Provider: FastTrack into Technology (FIT)
Certifier: FIT

Lean Sigma Manager Level 9
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: Teleflex
Certifier: University of Limerick

Logistics Associate Level 6
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: Freight Transport Association Ireland
Certifier: Dublin IT

Principal Engineer- Professional Doctorate Level 10
Duration: 4 years
Training Provider: SL Controls
Certifier: University of Limerick

Professional Bar Manager Level 6
Duration: 2 years
Vintners Association
Certifier: Griffith College

Professional Hairdressing Level 6
Duration 3 years
Training Provider: Hairdressing Council of Ireland, Limerick & Clare ETB & Image Learning and Development
Certifier: Training Network Ltd

Professional Healthcare Assistant Level 6
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: Kiltipper Woods Care Centre
Certifier: Griffith College

Quality Assurance Technician Level 7
Duration 3 years
Training Provider: Ibec Biopharma cluster
Certifier: IT Tallaght

Quality Laboratory Technician Level 6
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: Ibec Biopharma cluster
Certifier: IT Tallaght

Senior Quantity Surveyor Level 9
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: Society of Charted Surveyors Ireland
Certifier: Limerick Institute of Technology

Recruitment Practitioner Level 6
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: National Recruitment Federation
Certifier: National College of Ireland

Scaffolding Level 6
Duration: 3 years
Training Provider: Construction Industry Federation
Certifier: Laois & Offaly ETB

Software System Designer Level 9
Duration 2 years
Training Provider: Lero
Certifier: University of Limerick

SportTurf Management Level 6
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: Teagasc
Certifier: Teagasc

Stud Farm Management Level 7
Duration 2 years
Training Provider: Teagasc
Certifier: Teagasc

Supply Chain Associate Level 7
Duration: 3 years
Training Provider: IPICS The Supply Chain Management Institute
Certifier: University of Limerick

Supply Chain Manager Level 9
Duration: 2 years
Training Provider: IPICS, The Supply Chain Management Institute
Certifier: University of Limerick

Supply Chain Specialist Level 8
Duration 2 years
Training Provider: IPICS, The Supply Chain Management Institute
Certifier: University of Limerick

What is an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship is a programme of structured education and training which formally combines and alternates learning in the workplace with learning in an education and training institution. An apprenticeship prepares participants for a specific occupation and leads to a qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications. Since the 1970s it is estimated that over 105,000 apprentices have been trained in Ireland. There is a current population of over 12,000 apprentices with 4,900 participating employers (November 2017).

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Fitness Instructor Courses

fitness instructor coursesIt has been said that if you can turn a hobby or passion into a career – you will never work a day in your life. With an increasing amount of Irish people becoming health conscious and more fitness focused, there is also a growing percentage of sports enthusiasts looking to leisure, sports and fitness as a potential career path.

This sector of our economy offers a very wide range of career opportunities. Employers include leisure companies, tour operators, local authorities, gyms and leisure centres, health and fitness clubs, hotels and sports clubs among others.

Apart from the level of fitness and qualification required; you also have to have an ability to communicate well with people along with a helpful attitude. Organisational and teamwork skills are often required and sometimes good business skills. One thing is certain – despite the growing number of fitness instructors in Ireland, those who are successful, are those who have established a credible name for themselves through determination and hard work.

Generally, there is a wide variety of courses that can help prepare for entry to this career area on a number of different levels: from Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses in Health and Fitness to Industry certified courses/qualifications. Students can also progress to Level 8 Honours Degree programmes in areas such as Sports Science.

Many jobs in this sector offer the opportunity for promotion to supervisory or managerial levels. There are plenty of opportunities to work abroad and in many cases it is possible to become self-employed as a Fitness Instructor or a Personal Trainer.
fitness instructor courses in Ireland

Course Providers:

Image Fitness Training runs courses that qualify participants as a NEFPC (National Elite Fitness Professional Certificate) Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer & Group Instructor. This qualification will help you build a career, not just a certification. Throughout this course, you will learn to conduct screenings of new members/clients and assess their fitness via a variety of methods. You will learn how to teach correct techniques in all aspects of fitness and utilise an array of exercise equipment to achieve results.

Litton Lane Training has been running courses in Ireland since 1987. Their courses run throughout the country. They specialise in Fitness Instructor programmes and also offer training courses to qualify participants as Personal Trainers or Pilate Instructors.

The National Training Centre offers an interesting course on Neuromuscular Physical Therapy which qualifies participants in treatment of soft tissue trauma and sports therapy. They also run a range of other courses on exercise and health studies, suspension training, pilates, pre and post natal exercise, kettlebells and more!

Motions Health & Fitness Training runs courses for people who wish to train as Fitness Instructors and Personal Trainers. Their Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness is accredited by University of Limerick.  They run both full and part-time courses.
Their courses are open to anybody who wants to attain a professional qualification in fitness instruction and personal training. Graduates are qualified to teach classes in circuit training, resistance & weights, body conditioning, step, flexibility and exercise to music. They are trained to carry out fitness assessments and design fitness programmes for a variety of people with different fitness objectives.

FitCert provides highly practical Fitness Instructor and Personal Training Qualifications at locations in Dublin, Louth and Offaly. Keith Martin is the founder of FitCert and has been in the fitness industry for well over 10 years, as well as providing top class fitness qualifications he runs a successful gym and martial arts business.

The Sports Fitness Academy in Donegal delivers high quality teaching and learning with recognised qualification within the sport and fitness industry. Courses include fitness instruction, personal training and sports massage therapy. All the courses delivered are accredited and mapped to both the English Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) and the European Quality Framework (EQF). These qualifications will provide students with access onto the Register of Exercise Professionals Ireland (REPs Ireland) and the Sports Massage Association (SMA).

Holistic College Dublin provides comprehensive, professional training in a wide range of therapies from foundation courses to the most advanced therapeutic training in Ireland. All of our training programmes are recognised for excellence in training standards and superb exam results! Holistic College Dublin is a registered provider for I.T.E.C. awards.

If you wish to gain a Higher Education award in the Health & Leisure business; there are many on offer via the CAO system. The Bachelor of Science in Health and Leisure in Tralee IT, is both well established and extremely credible amongst relevant professionals and professional bodies. The programme consists of an equal mixture of applied, active, often externally-certified leadership training programmes, and the theoretical foundations underpinning each subject area. Specialist streams are each supplemented with a one-year add-on Level 8 programme. Graduates will have a variety of qualifications and certifications and may be eligible for professional registration in certain disciplines. Graduates are typically qualified to work as gym instructors, activity co-ordinators, personal trainers, sports development officers, PE teachers (requires additional qualification), youth development officers, leisure facility managers, adapted physical activity specialists, health promotion officers, but are not limited to these roles.

If you wish to pursue a Further education/PLC course, there are a number of courses on offer throughout the country. An example of such courses is the Sport and Recreation Studies Level 5 and Sports Development Level 6 courses which are run by St Louis Community School in Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo. Like other similar QQI courses, subjects taught include: Nutrition, Circuit Training, Sport and Recreation Studies, Resistance Training, Physiology & Anatomy, Body Conditioning and Sculpting, Exercise and Fitness, First Aid, Health and Safety, Work Experience, Communications and information Technology. Graduates of these PLC courses can go on to pursue careers in: Aerobic and Gym Instruction, Sports Development Officers, Sport Retail Sales and Freelance Fitness Instructors.

If you are considering pursuing a course that qualifies you as a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer; it is recommended to discuss this area with somebody already established and qualified in this sector and then visit any of the course providers. If you are committed to working out, eating right, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it is possible that you could turn your passion into a reputable income-generating profession!

To find Fitness Instructor courses and other fitness related courses view our Fitness and Health courses category on –

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Survey of Student Engagement 2017

35,850 students took part in the 2017 Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE) – a national survey of students in twenty-seven public higher education institutions – bringing the total number of responses to almost 125,000 since the survey was introduced in 2013.

student surveyThe Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE) is designed to ask students directly about their experiences of higher education. Student feedback provides institutions with valuable information to identify good practice that enhances the student experience and to prompt awareness of, and action on, any particular issues or challenges that affect students.

In each year’s report, one chapter “looks deeper” into what students are saying. In 2017, the experiences of students studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects) are explored and present some expected and some surprising results:

Students studying non-STEM subjects, when taken all together, spend more time addressing higher order learning than those studying STEM. For the survey, higher order learning is defined as the extent to which work emphasises challenging tasks such as application, analysis, judgement and synthesis of information. For example, 15% of STEM students reported that their coursework emphasised ‘evaluating a point of view’ very much whereas 25% of non-STEM respondents selected this option.

Students studying STEM subjects spend considerably more time than other students dealing with quantitative reasoning, that is, evaluating, supporting or critiquing views by using numerical and statistical information. For example, 48% of STEM students report that their coursework emphasises ‘reaching conclusions on analysis of numerical information’ compared to 26% of those studying all other subjects.

Students’ interaction with academic staff offers another perspective on the value of the survey.  It is noted that these results are low compared to other countries with similar surveys and lower for first year students than for other year groups. This might not be surprising given the increasing numbers of students participating in higher education against a background of well-known funding constraints, but institutions are working hard to limit the impact on students. In fact, despite the low base, results for this indicator in 2017 are the highest since the survey started in 2013. However, lecturers, class sizes and group work feature very frequently in open text responses from students, as illustrated in the following:

“Tutorials are a great way of understanding and practicing questions. I find that being in these smaller groups really help as you are able to ask more questions and get a better quality of learning”.

“In a lot of the lectures, the lecturers interact with the students and assign groups to work together, which is a good approach to learning. There are also a lot of resources in the university for those who need it, in regards to learning. I always receive emails about some type of resource to avail of and it’s nice to know it’s there if I need it”.

“The continuous assessments allow us to engage in the work throughout the semester. Some lecturers have excellent in class work to help us understand topics.”

“We have group projects to do in our tutorials which force us to research and engage further in the material covered in the lectures. The group presentations help you get a deeper understanding of the material.”

The results of the survey are intended to bring benefits to students and their institutions, and to inform national policy. When introduced in 2013, the ISSE was the first national survey of its kind in Europe, although a number of countries have explored similar surveys since then.

Some results from the 2017 survey

  • 35,850 students took part in the 2017 survey
  • 56% have developed clear and effective writing skills quite a bit or very much
  • 63% often/very often improved knowledge and skills that will contribute to their employability
  • 59% of students feel they are well supported to help them succeed academically
  • 53% often/very often worked with other students on projects or assignments
  • 61% often/very often combined ideas from different subjects / modules when completing assignments

The full survey publication is available online at –

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