Written Answers - Third Level Places

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 712 No. 4

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  217.  Deputy Ruairí Quinn  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the number of students who commenced study to date under the programme of part-time postgraduate third-level places for unemployed workers which commenced in September 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26031/10]

  218.  Deputy Ruairí Quinn  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the number of students who have commenced study to date under the programme of part-time undergraduate places for jobless workers which commenced in September 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26032/10]

  219.  Deputy Ruairí Quinn  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the number of places that will be made available and funded by her Department under the programme of part-time postgraduate third-level places for unemployed workers in the academic year 2010/2011 commencing in September 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26033/10]

  220.  Deputy Ruairí Quinn  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the number of places that will be made available and funded by her Department under the programme of part-time undergraduate places for jobless workers in the academic year 2010/2011 commencing in September 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26034/10]

Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 220, inclusive, together.

1,752 unemployed people were supported to embark on part-time higher education courses that support the goals of the ‘Smart Economy’ from September 2009. 1,122 of these students undertook programmes at undergraduate level and 630 undertook programmes at postgraduate level.

A preliminary analysis by the HEA of information received to date from participating institutions shows that the majority of students are male and aged between 26 and 40 with previous qualifications at NQF 6 or above. Some 50% of participants were previously employed in the engineering, manufacturing or construction sectors. Over 70% were between 6-12 months on the live register and 55% indicated that their motivation for undertaking the programme was to enhance their career prospects.

[808]The position in relation to additional activation initiatives in the higher education sector for the 2010/11 academic year is being considered having regard to the outcomes of the Activation Fund process as well as the significant further increase in demand for full time higher education places, including from unemployed people.


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