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14 Institutes of Technology Launch Bluebrick.ie

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9/18/2009 4:11:26 PM

 

Ireland's 14 Institutes of Technology this morning (Wednesday 16th September) launched BlueBrick.ie, an information and access search portal which will let anyone look for part-time and flexible learning opportunities in Institutes all across the country. BlueBrick.ie is designed to help learners find, compare and apply for career-focused programmes to meet their individual needs.

BlueBrick.ie is supported by the Higher Education Authority and its launch has been brought forward by 12 months to address the pressing needs of the labour market and to ensure the maximum use of resources for education and training in the higher education sector. Each Institute has increased the number of flexible learning courses it offers through the use of virtual learning and training staff in new technologies. Courses are being converted to flexible learning formats and 350 modules and courses are already available in engineering, science, business, marketing, technology, management and education.

 

 

The Institutes aim to provide access for up to 19,000 part time students through the BlueBrick portal - an increase of almost 50% on the 13,000 students currently studying part-time within the Institutes.

This increase in part time student numbers will contribute significantly to meeting the targets recently set by the HEA to increase the flexible/part-time provision to 17 per cent by 2013 (7 per cent in 2006).

 

 

BlueBrick and the programmes it offers access to are aimed at people irrespective of their employment status. The portal will be heavily promoted through FAS, Department of Social and Family Affairs offices and other relevant agencies. There is no charge or application fee for using BlueBrick.

The portal was launched by the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O'Keeffe TD who commended the Institutes of Technology saying: 'BlueBrick.ie is as important to part-time learners as the CAO is to direct entrants and school leavers. The last twelve months have seen unprecedented challenges to the labour market that require major responses from all the organisations and agencies delivering education, training and social and employment support. Higher education institutions must show increased flexibility to ensure that they stay relevant and focused on the needs of the learner.'

 

 

Dr Richard Thorn, Director of Flexible Learning and Research at Institutes of Technology Ireland said: 'BlueBrick.ie is designed to recognise that learners make their educational journeys at different speeds and in different ways. Our qualifications framework recognises this. Now we are increasing the capacity of the Institutes to provide more flexible learning and distance learning opportunities and offer greater recognition of, and engagement with, work-based learning.' www.bluebrick.ie

 

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