Adult Education Definitions

Education and Training Boards (ETBs)
  • 1st July 2013 the 33 Vocational Educational Committees (VECs) were dissolved and replaced by 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs). 
  • ETBs are statutory education authorities which have the responsibility for education and training and a range of other statutory functions. 
  • ETBs manage and operate second level-schools and further education colleges. 
  • ETBs also pilot a range of adult and further education centres delivering education and training programmes.
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Adult Education Information

Adult education courses are designed so that you can return to education in flexible ways. They take account of your particular needs and circumstances as an adult. There are part-time and full-time courses available. A number of organisations provide specialist help and advice about returning to education.

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Returning to Education

Many people including early school leavers, unemployed people and those who want to retrain for a new job may be interested in returning to education on a full-time or part-time basis. If you are interested in returning to education, there are a number of organisations and resources where you can get information about the courses available to you.

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Back to Education Allowance

The Department of Social Protection administers the Back to Education Allowance. This scheme allows you to keep your Social Welfare payment and return to approved full-time second and third level courses. The approved full time education course must lead to a higher qualification on the national framework Qualifications other than that already held. There are two education options available.

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Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)

SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) is the single national Awarding Authority for all new student grant applications. Applications for Student Grants are assessed under the criteria set out in the Student Support Act 2011, Student Support Regulations and the Student Grant Scheme.

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Grants and Funds available for Mature Students

If you wish to enter or return to third-level education and you are over 23 years of age, Irish third-level colleges have places for mature students. You will have to consider the costs of fees and maintenance, depending on whether you are going to do a full-time or a part-time course. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for free fees. If you are planning to study full-time as an undergraduate, you may be eligible for a student grant. (If you are applying for an undergraduate course and you have already completed an undergraduate course, you are not eligible for either a student grant or free fees.)

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