NUI Galway announces scholarship scheme

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 16th, 2012 by steve

“NUI Galway has announced details of a new scholarship scheme for mature students. 30 new scholarships will be awarded, consisting of €2,000 per student for every year of their study …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 16 January]

Tags: ,

Juggling college and the kids

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 10th, 2012 by steve

“There aren’t enough hours in the day for parents who pursue the mature student life, writes Sheila Wayman. With the CAO deadline looming on February 1st …” (more)

[Irish Times, 10 January]

Tags: ,

Mature Students Now Comprise 15% of First Time Entrants

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 20th, 2011 by steve

“A new report by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) shows that the proportion of those going to college for the first time aged 23 or over has risen to 15% and the Authority predicts that figure to continue to grow steadily in coming years …” (more)

[Dundalk Institute of Technology, 20 December]

Tags: ,

Mission diversity – the case of mature students in Ireland

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 14th, 2011 by steve

“A key policy objective of many higher education systems is to have a diverse set of higher education institutions whose missions are distinctive and different but which combined result in a coherence that enables the system as a whole to meet all potential requirements …” (more)

[Richard Thorn,, 12 December]

Tags: , ,

Higher Education Grants

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 13th, 2011 by steve

Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to review the mature student grant system for higher education; the meetings he has had with representative groups or agencies regarding such a review; if so, the results of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann, 11 October]

Tags: , , ,

Higher Education Grants

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 16th, 2011 by steve

Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to introduce any measures to alleviate the financial pressures on mature students who will suffer the combined effect of the removal of the non-adjacent grant and the extension of the non-adjacent area; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann Written Answers, 14 September]

Tags: , , ,

Record rise in number of mature students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 4th, 2011 by steve

“The number of mature students going to college reached 111,000 last year – or almost 5% of the entire adult population – as people opted out of the dole queue and back into education …” (more)

[Independent, 4 August]


Challenges for third-level education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 3rd, 2011 by steve

“Madam, – Speculation about the reintroduction of third-level fees distracts from debate on the immediate challenges in the third-level sector in the context of the current downturn. The Minister for Education rightfully points out the increasing demand for third-level places, and the changing profile of those who apply …” (more)

[Berni Brady, Irish Times, 3 June]

Tags: , , ,

Supporting part-time students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 22nd, 2011 by steve

“Almost every analysis of higher education trends suggests that the image of the typical university student as someone who recently completed secondary education and who now studies full-time for an undergraduate degree will soon be out-of-date …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 22 May]

Tags: , ,

Mature students feel let down by ’empty pledge’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 11th, 2011 by steve

“After losing his job at SR Technics at 55, John Devlin knew he would have to go back to college if he was ever to work again. But he now fears that he will have to apply for social welfare because the Government is refusing to provide the funding he and about 55 of his former colleagues need to finish their college courses …” (more)

[Edel Kennedy, Independent, 11 May]

Tags: ,

School leavers claim two thirds of college places

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 14th, 2011 by steve

“School leavers claimed two-thirds of college places last autumn despite a sharp rise in mature students and other applicants seeking entry …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 14 January]


Why I decided to fail better

Posted in Life on November 2nd, 2010 by steve

“A decade after leaving college Eoin Cunningham is back at UCD taking an MA. The past 10 years have been a rollercoaster; researching bestselling books one moment, working nights as a cleaner the next. So why has he decided to return to education? And what does he make of the class of 2010? …” (more)

[Irish Times, 2 November]

Tags: ,

‘Mature students who sit at the front of the lecture hall get called Noddies – because we nod and agree with everything the lecturer says’

Posted in Governance and administration on September 18th, 2010 by steve

“… How are you adjusting to life as a mature student? It’s challenging because I really have to use my brain in a different way. In retail you’re dealing with people and problem-solving on a daily basis. Now I’m having to operate slightly differently. It’s daunting though because it’s all so new. I feel old. I shouldn’t at my age, but I do. All the school leavers have laptops, so all you hear during lectures is tap-tap-tap. All I have is a refill pad …” (more)

[Eoin Butler, Irish Times, 18 September]


Career opportunities: three-day conference on higher educational options begins at RDS

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 15th, 2010 by steve

“The increased interest in higher education among mature students was highlighted by the Minister of State for Education yesterday. Seán Haughey was speaking at the opening of The Irish Times/Institute of Guidance Counsellors Higher Options Conference which begins today at the RDS in Dublin …” (more)

[Genevieve Carbery, Irish Times, 15 September]


Mature students sit at the front, perhaps due to our eyesight

Posted in Teaching on September 13th, 2010 by steve

“I stood in the middle of the campus on Monday and thought, what have I done? I am a mature student (mature in age, anyway). I am, at the same time, delighted and scared out of my wits. You see, I still haven’t figured out quite how it happened. I really wanted to go to college …” (more)

[Celia Larkin, Independent, 12 September]


CAO surge as adults seek place in college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 25th, 2010 by steve

“There has been a surge in adults seeking to return to college, with almost one in five applications coming from the over-23s so far this year. A record 14,606 mature applicants have sought places through the CAO out of a total of 77,126 applications to date. The figures are expected to climb a little higher over the next few weeks …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 25 June]

Tags: ,

Meet the mature students blazing a trail through the recession …

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 14th, 2010 by steve

“Twenty years ago they stood out like a somewhat wrinkled sore thumb. Until recently mature students were treated as exotic creatures who livened up seminars and put their younger classmates to shame with their diligence. Increasingly, they are making their presence felt at third level and are well on the way to making up a quarter of the student population …” (more)

[Independent, 14 April]


Back to Education Allowance Storm Brewing (or not?)

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 31st, 2010 by steve

“Anyone caring to take a walk around the campuses of Ireland’s third level institutions would be struck by the number of what is quaintly called ‘mature students’. ‘Matures’, as they’re often referred to, are those students who are over the age of 23. In the past number of years they have been signing up for higher education programmes in droves …” (more)

[Ciarán Ó Catháin, A President’s Notebook, 30 March]

Tags: ,

Access for mature students

Posted in Legal issues on February 12th, 2010 by steve

“… When I started this part-time course in September last year, it was on the premise that both the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) and the maintenance grant would be available to me once I started the degree course next September. Indeed it was the availability of these monies that made going back to college financially possible. Halfway through my Access course, last month, it emerged that the Government had made cuts …” (more)

[Naoise McDonagh, Irish Times, 12 February]

Tags: ,

Budget changes ‘will hit mature student applications’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 11th, 2010 by steve

“The recent rise in mature student applications through the CAO may be a false dawn, according to the National Adult Learning Organisation AONTAS. AONTAS Director Berni Brady said that many adults who applied through the CAO may not be in the position financially to pursue a third level education. Measures introduced in Budget 2010 will take effect from September, and mean that those qualifying for the Back to Education Allowance scheme will no longer be eligible for the student maintenance grant …” (more)

[, 11 February]

Tags: , , ,