Monday, 27 March, 2017

Archive for 2012

Counting down to Budget 2013

Posted on November 27, 2012

Chart - Penny Lamb from NIACE explains SROI (Social Return on Investment) at the AONTAS GM, November 2012.
Penny Lamb from NIACE explains SROI (Social Return on Investment) at the AONTAS GM, November 2012.

There are only seven days to go before the full details of what is contained in Budget 2013 will be revealed. 

Some weeks ago, the Minister announced that €77 million would be cut from the overall education budget.  Given that the majority of this budget cannot be touched under the existing Croke Park arrangement, and that a number of savings (eg capitation grants, increase in student contribution fees) were already signalled in last year’s budget, this will be a real challenge. 

 Value for money

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Budget 2013

The positive impact of adult learning: proving it

Posted on November 12, 2012

Penny- small - Penny Lamb
Penny Lamb

At The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) we have been calling for a renewed debate in England as to what counts as evidence of impact of adult learning. We believe it is critical that we refresh the thinking and evidence base of the impact of adult learning for current times.  This is driven by two urgent questions:

How do we best protect both public and private investment in learning and skills for adults at a time of economic crisis?

How can we preserve the fundamental ethos to learn for work and skills and for personal and social purposes at a time of increasingly squeezed budgets?

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Research on adult educationMeasuring outcomes

Improving adult and community education for everyone

Posted on October 16, 2012

LCEN 2 - Jim Prior with members of Limerick Community Education Network - 'Being part of a national organisation has many benefits.'
Jim Prior with members of Limerick Community Education Network - 'Being part of a national organisation has many benefits.'

Jim Prior - Adult Educator, Activist and AONTAS Executive Committee Board Member explains how the organisations he is involved with have benefited from being part of AONTAS.

Why become a member of AONTAS?

Working in adult and community education can be challenging due to its low profile and uncertain funding structure. It is vital that the value of adult learning is visible and all education providers and learners unite in a common voice to ensure that both the public and the policy makers support it. For that reason the organisations, both statutory and voluntary, I am involved with are all members of AONTAS: City of Limerick VEC, Southill Family Resource Centre and Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN).

How did your organisation benefit from membership?

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: AONTAS membershpLimerick Community Education Network

Concerns for the Community Education Sector in a Time of Change

Posted on September 18, 2012

Stephen Flitton

In the second in a series of blog entries about the challenges facing community education, Stephen Flitton from Warrenmount Community Education Centre wonders if we are entering an era where the learner becomes a consumer?

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Three challenges for community education in a time of change

Posted on September 12, 2012

New Building photo2 - Longford Womens' Link - a member of AONTAS and the CEN
Longford Womens' Link - a member of AONTAS and the CEN

The Community Education Network (CEN) is in the process of putting together a position paper on the challenges facing community education during a time of change. Community education organisations operate outside of the formal education sector and are funded through a variety of sources.

Since the establishment of the CEN in 2007 the context for community education has changed dramatically, from the absorption of Community Development Projects (CDPs) into Local Area Partnerships, reduced funding, increased demands on services, and changes to the FETAC process. Now the sector must retain its identity within SOLAS and the new integrated Further Education and Training Service.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Community EducationFETACSOLAS

How many people are participating in adult education?

Posted on August 28, 2012

We're often asked how many people are involved in adult education. This is a figure which is really difficult to quantify for a number of reasons. Firstly, because of the range of initiatives which now exist, particularly with the onset of the recession. Secondly, because many adults take up learning quite informally, and there is a lack of accurate data on their participation. Finally, there's often a bit of disagreement on what constitutes 'adult education'. For example, if we included the figures on the number of people taking part in Community Employment, or the number of people on Jobsbridge, this figure would be much higher.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Adult educationStatistics 2012

The Activation Factor in the Live Register Figures July 2012

Posted on August 01, 2012

At first glance there is little or no change in the live register figures for July. According to the CSO today (August 1st) the Live Register recorded a monthly decrease of 2300 in July - indicating a standardised unemployment rate of 14.8%, unchanged from the previous month.


While most commentators have suggested that figures are stabilising, a continuous cause for concern is that there is a worrying increase in long term unemployment. The consequences of this have been explained in great detail already by the INOU.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Live RegisterUnemploymentActivation

Five tips on applying for a student grant

Posted on June 26, 2012

blog susi 001

1. Do your research
Before you begin your application process you should research what funding options are currently available and whether you are eligible or not. Remember some colleges may offer additional financial supports to students so it's worth finding out what other funding streams may be available to you. Visit www.studentfinance.ie for more information. Also check college websites for up to date Information on additional grants and scholarships. Alternatively you can download the AONTAS Information booklet here.

2. Apply early

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Adult LearnersStudent FinanceThird level grants

Getting to grips with Qualifications and Quality Assurance

Posted on June 19, 2012

NFQ fan

The introduction of the new Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Bill is yet another piece in the jigsaw as the further education and training sector undergoes its most radical reform yet. At the end of last May the Bill returned to the Dáil for a second stage. So what are the implications of the Bill, and why introduce it in the first stage?

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: QualificationsFETACNQAI

Five priorities for further education and training in a time of reform

Posted on June 12, 2012

This blog has been pretty quiet over the last few months, but that's not reflective of the level of activity within AONTAS, we can assure you. Over the last few months we've been busy watching developments as the new training and further education authority SOLAS begins to take shape. We made an extensive submission to the consultation process earlier this year and also held an event at the end of February where thirty adult learners met members of the Implementation Group to discuss their experiences of accessing further education and training.
Based on what our members have told us, here are five priorities for further education in Ireland.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: SOLASCommunity EducationAdult Learning