Saturday, 19 August, 2017

Blog Archive

Building a Grassroots Learner Voice: report from the ALFI meeting on October 26th

Posted on November 04, 2011

The 2nd Adult Learners' Forum of Ireland (ALFI) meeting took place on October 26th in the Ashling Hotel, and despite the horrendous weather of the previous days, fifty learners from across the country gathered to discuss and hear about Local Adult Learner Forums.


A full report of the day will be made available and put on the ALFI section of the AONTAS website in due course, but here are some of the details of how the day unfolded.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Adult Learners Forum of IrelandAdult learners

Come learn, share and be a part of the first national conference about community education in Ireland.

Posted on October 18, 2011

Community education in action - Community education in action
Community education in action

What is the only form of education that gives you skills for employment, builds your confidence and creates healthy, critically thinking, active communities?Community education emerged in Ireland in the 1980's, as a response to consequences of the recession such as unemployment, addiction and disenfranchisement. Now, in the midst of another recession some thirty years later, community education is coming into its own again, providing education which is relevant, learner centred, and sowing seeds for social action.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Community educationConference 2011Community Education Network

How we can build local adult learner voices- the ALFI meeting October 26th

Posted on October 11, 2011

ALFI 2010 2 - Learners at the ALFI meeting in Athlone in November 2010
Learners at the ALFI meeting in Athlone in November 2010

At last year's Adult Learners' Forum of Ireland (ALFI) meeting, one of the main areas of discussion was how to develop a sustainable national platform for Adult Learners. Participants at the inaugural ALFI meeting not only wanted to see a strong national voice, they realised that if it was to grow and develop, it needed to be built on solid foundations.Learners at the ALFI in 2010

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Adult learnersMature studentsAdult Learner's Forum of Irelandlearner voice

Returning to education brings new beginnings

Posted on October 04, 2011

Karen - Karen Shields, Postgraduate student in Adult and Community Education at NUI Maynooth
Karen Shields, Postgraduate student in Adult and Community Education at NUI Maynooth

In this blog entry, mature student Karen Shields writes about the experience of returning to university.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Mature studentsAdult learners

Adult learning – creating social enterprise opportunities on Inis Oirr

Posted on September 13, 2011

Basket with Inis Oirr quilt  - Basket with Inis Oirr quilt produced by Mna le Cheile
Basket with Inis Oirr quilt produced by Mna le Cheile

Research on the benefits of adult learning shows that adult learning helps to build confidence and self esteem. These are the building blocks of small enterprise - with confidence come ideas, and the commitment to pursue them.


A great example of adult learning which is making inroads into small enterprise is Mná le Chéile - a group of women based on Inis Oirr on the Aran Islands. The group was the recipient of an AONTAS STAR Award in February of this year. I recently spoke to Mary McCarty, a member of the group who explained to me how it all started.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Social benefits of learningAdult learning and enterpriseSTAR Awards

Words of advice for adult learners

Posted on August 30, 2011

whatnext2011September is traditionally the time of year when lots of people think of taking up some learning. While it's often associated with children heading back to school, lots of adults are also considering taking up an evening course over the winter, or are about to enter third level as a mature student on a full or part time basis.
Last weekend AONTAS hosted an information stand at Which Course, an annual exhibition featuring various course providers. We were there to give out copies of our new Information Booklet. Called 'What Next' the booklet answers a lot of the basic questions that adults ask us - how to find a course, what the qualification means, what kinds of financial supports are available. We also provided copies of the latest course brochure from CD VEC, and promoted a freephone number which they have in place until September 9th. The freephone number 1800 20 40 80 is staffed by qualified Counsellors from the Adult Education Guidance Initiative who are there to help adults

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Information on adult educationMature studentsTraining and education options for people who are unemployeddemand for adult learning

I’m unemployed – can education get me out of here?

Posted on August 03, 2011

There's been a lot of focus recently on the issue of information, and how difficult it is to find the right person in the right place to give you the right information about education and training opportunities if you're unemployed. So here are eight useful resources if you're planning on taking the education route in the not too distant future.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Information about adult educationTraining and education options for people who are unemployed

Could the Cloud Be Your Silver Lining?

Posted on July 25, 2011

Publication cover - Cloud Computing A4 Leaflet Des - Cover image for Cloud Computing A4 Leaflet Des
Cover image for Cloud Computing A4 Leaflet Des

Every cloud has a silver lining they say. For those engaged in a job search it could be that cloud computing could provide an opportunity. The National College of Ireland is one of the colleges offering a range of accredited learning opportunities in cloud computing at the moment.

Robert Ward, Director of Student Recruitment from NCI explained why the Cloud is so important. 'ICT Ireland has said as many as 75% of ICT companies have vacancies in cloud computing and web development with up to half of companies having more than 20 roles to fill.'

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: SpringboardHigher EducationLabour Market Activation

Numbers on the Back to Education Allowance soared in 2010

Posted on July 12, 2011

A telling statistic in the Department of Social Protection's Annual Report 2010 released earlier this week is the number of people last year who availed of the Back to Education Allowance. The report reveals that in the 2009/2010 academic year a total of 20,808 people (10,457 at 2nd level, and 10,351 at 3rd level) were in receipt of a Back to Education allowance, an increase of 79% on 2009.)

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Back to Education AllowanceSpringboardDemand for Adult Learning

Ten things mature students need to know about student grants

Posted on July 06, 2011

Some important changes have been taking place in how student grants are being administered. In previous years there were four different grant schemes, whereas this year there is only one scheme. The new student grant scheme was launched on June 27th this year. The website Studentfinance is an excellent source of information on grants and finance for all third level students. Here are ten things you need to know if you're applying for a grant.

Apply early: September may seem like a long time away, but the Department of Education and Skills advises all students to apply early to avoid delays in having your grant processed.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Student financeThird level grantsMaintenance grantsMature students

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