Direct Application Initiative targeting students from Northern Ireland at IT Sligo

The Institute of Technology in Sligo has announced additional places for students from Northern Ireland applying for entry in 2012. A new initiative under which students can apply directly to the Institute opens opportunities on a number of its degree programmes for students undertaking Applied A Levels and BTEC qualifications, as well as Academic A Levels.

The institute offers over 70 undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a range of disciplines across science, engineering, business and social sciences.

Speaking about the initiative, President of IT Sligo and Derry native, Professor Terri Scott, said that the number of students at the Institute from Northern Ireland has grown over the past number of years.  “Career advisors, parents and students in Northern Ireland are getting more and more aware now of the wide range of options available to them and they’re discerning about the choices they’re making. The Department and Employment and Learning have recently confirmed that registration fees for students studying in the Republic will be covered by the Department up until 2013.”

She continued: “All qualifications offered at the institute are recognised on the National Framework for Qualifications and our courses are also compliant with Bologna accord opening opportunities for students to transfer credits internationally.   In addition the Institute offers international exchange with the United States and up to 100 Erasmus internships annually”.

More than 15 Business, Science and Engineering Degree programmes are included in the pilot scheme. Full details of the programmes, including the application form and minimum entry requirements are available on . The closing date for applications is September 3rd

IT Sligo is just one hour from Enniskillen and approximately two hours from Derry.

Overseas student fees hike proposed

Students from the rest of the UK wishing to study in Northern Ireland could face fees of up to £9,000 a year, the Stormont Assembly has been told.

The decision to increase charges for prospective admissions from England, Scotland and Wales comes after the region’s power-sharing executive decided not to substantially increase rates for local students.

With anyone from Northern Ireland who decides to study in the rest of the UK facing potential £9,000 a year charges from 2012, ministers have agreed that they will be entitled to apply for student loans to cover the full amount.

As the changes to higher education charges are likely to see more local people opting to stay in Northern Ireland, Stormont Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry said he would now consider a “modest increase” to the current 25,000 cap on student places in the region.

Mr Farry outlined the details of the fee structures for the coming four years on the first full sitting of the Assembly since the summer recess.

The new £3,465 rate for Northern Ireland students studying at home represents a rise only in line with inflation and the minister said he wanted to ensure that students from the rest of the UK selecting a university in Northern Ireland did so for the right reasons.

“We want to avoid a parochial situation where our universities just service a local market, but equally we should not be seen as a cheap option,” he said.

“Consequently, tuition fees for students from other parts of the United Kingdom will be higher than for our own students, but no higher than what our students would have to pay if studying in England and Wales.”

The region’s two main institutions – Queen’s University and the University of Ulster – have yet to set fee rates for students from the rest of the UK wishing to study in Northern Ireland from 2012 on.

Students from the Republic of Ireland, and all other European Union (EU) countries, will not have to pay the higher rates. EU regulations mean they can only be charged at the same £3,465 per annum rate as Northern Ireland students. – September 12 2011

Northern Ireland Students Unite

Northern Ireland Students Unite

The student body from across Northern Ireland will take part in a National Demonstration against cuts to Higher Education Funding and the proposal to increase the student tuition fee level in Northern Ireland tomorrow, April 6.

The Northern Ireland Assembly has reached the end of its term. The next Assembly which will be elected on May 5th will be making important decisions about the future of Higher Education and – whether to increase tuition fees in Northern Ireland to up to £6,000 a year or maybe more. Cuts to education funding are also being debated and this could mean compulsory redundancies for university staff therefore having a detrimental impact on the Student Experience. Students may be expected to pay more but getting less of a service. However, the student movement know this is not inevitable. With elections in May, the elected representatives, will be very keen to listen to their electorate and one of the largest voting demographics within Northern Ireland is the Higher Education student population. Students are standing side by side with the University and College Union, UCU, to oppose higher fees and education cuts.

On Wednesday April 6th, the student movement have organised a demonstration leaving Botanic Gardens at 1pm to march to the City Hall. The new Northern Ireland assembly have the power to ensure that the future of an entire generation of young people is not mortgaged in the form of Student Tuition Fees. Politicians often forget the other expenses students incur such as hidden course costs, living expenses, field trips, the list goes on. The Union leaders are also encouraging students to ‘Rock the Vote’ and register to vote and have their voice heard, as a student and member of the public. Everyone from across Northern Ireland is welcome to join the movement for the march on the 6th to stand up for your Higher Education system and for students and generations to come.

While the student movement are there under one banner in the name of fees and cuts, there will also be a minutes silence held in memory of Constable Ronan Kerr. The Students’ Unions have received numerous requests from students to publically pay a mark of respect in memory of the late Cons. Kerr. This shows that the future of Northern Ireland, from every community across the North are standing side by side against this attack on the peace process in Northern Ireland.


For further information, please contact:

Gareth McGreevy on 0044 7786837198

Proposal to double tuition fees in North


GERRY MORIARTY, Northern Editor

STUDENTS attending universities in Northern Ireland could see fees almost double if a new report is accepted by the Department of Employment and Learning.

Joanne Stuart has recommended in a special report for the Minister, Danny Kennedy, that current fees of about £3,000 should rise to a maximum of £5,750.

Ms Stuart, head of the Institute of Directors in Northern Ireland, said in a previous review that fees should not increase in real terms. Her recommendation follows a Westminster decision that could see fees in English universities treble from £3,000 to £9,000.

Northern Ireland students are generally entitled to loans which they do not begin repaying until they are in employment and earning more than £15,000. Ms Stuart recommends that the earnings level before repayment begins should be increased to £21,000.

Mr Kennedy told the Assembly that no decision would be made ahead of elections in May but that the proposal was a “key consideration” for his department.

There are 16,770 full-time undergraduate students at Queen’s University Belfast, of which 679 are from the Republic, while there are 756 from the Republic at the University of Ulster, which has 15,585 full-time students at undergraduate level.

The Minister said Ms Stuart had made clear that the cost of higher education meant maintaining the status quo was not an option.

It would leave a shortfall of between £40-£65 million a year at a time when the Northern Executive must cut spending by £4 billion over the next four years.

“I am committed to developing a Northern Ireland solution to the student finance issue,” he said. “We have the best higher education participation rates in the UK for those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds and it is important that access to higher education here continues to be based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay,” Mr Kennedy added.

“Higher education confers benefits and it is right that the beneficiaries should contribute towards the cost. However, we also need to find the balance between the level of tuition fees and how much public finance should be given to the universities.”

Queen’s said the report “recognises that investment in higher education requires to be maintained if we are to deliver economic development and growth for Northern Ireland”.

The Irish Times – Wednesday, February 9, 2011




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