Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Department of Education and Science
Question 162: To ask the TÃ¡naiste and Minister for Education and Skills if a certificate (details supplied) is not a fully recognised certificate, if a student currently on the course and in receipt of a back to education allowance can proceed to another FETAC level 6 course and still be in receipt of the back to education allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48118/10]
Question 163: To ask the TÃ¡naiste and Minister for Education and Skills if a student on passing examinations from a course (details supplied) can then proceed to a degree course with the certificate achieved from the course; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48119/10]
Seán Haughey (Minister of State, Department of Education and Science; Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Dublin North Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context
I propose to take Questions Nos. 161 to 163, inclusive, together.
My Department has requested information in relation to the certificate mentioned by the Deputy and will respond directly to the Deputy when this information is to hand.
In relation to the Back To Education Allowance, this allowance is a Department of Social Protection second-chance education opportunities scheme designed to encourage and facilitate people on certain social welfare payments to improve their skills and qualifications and therefore, their prospects of returning to the workforce. Eligibility for, and the payment structure of the BTEA is determined and administered by the Department of Social Protection and is primarily a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Social Protection.
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) including universities, institutes of technology and private colleges are autonomous institutions. They are also academically independent and reserve the right to determine the criteria for admission to any course run by the institution. It is therefore a matter for individual institutions to determine whether a student meets the eligibility criteria laid down by the institution.
The position is that students with appropriate FETAC Level 5/6 (NCVA Level 2/3) qualifications and modules may be admitted on a competitive basis to certain degree programmes run by third level institutions. In addition to the minimum entry requirements specific Higher Certificate and Ordinary Degree courses may have specific FETAC module or FETAC award requirements which are listed in individual institution prospectuses. In certain institutions a quota of places is reserved for applicants presenting FETAC level 5/6 awards. Such applicants are assessed separately from all other applicants.
Applicants presenting FETAC Awards should contact the relevant HEI to establish how FETAC awards are assessed and to obtain information on eligibility and the admissions process for the course they wish to apply for.