Posted on 8 months ago by Laurentina Kennedy
Degree courses outside the 'unnecessarily stressful points race' to become available today
Students can now apply for the first time to earn a university degree outside of the “unnecessarily stressful points race” through new courses across healthcare, enterprise, ICT, and the creative sector.
Further details of the 23 new courses available to students from this September outside of the traditional CAO process are due to be unveiled on Friday.
The new courses will see students start their studies in further education colleges, and complete their degree in a third-level institution.
These new courses will mean students can achieve degrees without ever having to worry about points, according to Further and Higher Education Minister Simon Harris.
“This is the single biggest transformation to education in decades,” said Mr Harris.
We know the points system has not worked for many of our young people.
"Today, we can tell the next generation of students they can access degrees in nursing, business, engineering, and media without ever having to worry about points.”
Information about the 14 tertiary education awards, across 23 different courses, will be delivered on a new National Tertiary Office (NTO) online portal from Friday. It also includes a call to develop more joint programmes by the end of the year.
The courses will now be accepting applications for September 2023. Details of each course including entry requirements, structure, and awards will be available on www.nto.hea.ie, as well as details on how to apply for each course.
According to the Department of Further and Higher Education, this first tranche of the programme represents a pilot. The way in which joint further education and training (FET) and higher education programmes are further developed and expanded on will be shaped by learnings from this initial phase.
The lecturers' union TUI, which earlier this week expressed reservations about the launch, said significant progress had been made when it came to addressing its concerns.
TUI general secretary Michael Gillespie said TUI members — teachers in the Education and Training Boards and lecturers in the Technological Universities — will deliver the courses.
"We welcome the assurances given by the minister that their terms and conditions, as well as all relevant existing collective agreements and agreed practices and processes, will be fully respected and protected,” he said.
“The minister has also agreed that there will be an ongoing process of meaningful consultation and engagement about outstanding or emerging matters related to the introduction of the pilot project.”