Galway Community College
Further Education

Minister Simon Harris speaks on progression to college

09-March-22
Minister Simon Harris speaks on progression to college

Minister Simon Harris speaks at Galway Community College

We were delighted to welcome Mr. Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science to the college recently, he was accompanied by Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport and Senator Sean Kyne. Minister Harris met with some of our Further Education and Training students and spoke on the pathways available to them after their current education and about the inclusion of further education and training courses on the CAO website for the first time this year.

The Minister noted that the direct route into university is not for all and that further education courses may be regarded by some as a year similar to a transition year, where students can sample a vocational area for one year to see if they are suited to it, before committing to a longer period of study in that career area. He also announced that €430m will be made available for capital expenditure in higher and further education, 40% of which will be directly allocated to further education. In this year’s budget it was also announced that the Government Levy of €200 was abolished for further education, making doing a FE (Further Education) course financially attractive.

Minister Harris took time to answer questions from senior cycle students in areas of student finances and his own career pathway to date. He spoke with Biomedical Students in our state-of-the-art laboratory, listening attentively to the students and questioning them about their future career pathways and course preferences.

Mr. Brian Melia's, Principal of GCC (Galway Community College) thanked Minister Harris for taking time out of his busy schedule to address our students on the welcome changes to the CAO and said that “these changes to the CAO will help to promote progression opportunities that await them in Further Education and Training Centres and Higher Education Colleges. We applaud the efforts being made to change the conversation from ‘what college you would like to attend?’ to ‘what is it you want to do later in life?’ Having all of the opportunities that are offered through Higher Education, Further Education and Training and Apprenticeships feature on the CAO website for all of our students will help them further to make a more informed decision regarding their futures”

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