GMIT teams up with ETBs to promote access to third level

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology has announced new partnerships with two education and training boards, aimed at improving access to third-level courses in the institute for post Leaving Certificate (PLC ) and further education (FE ) students in the region.

The new agreements with the Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB ) and the Mayo, Sligo, and Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB ) commit to promoting and improving equity of access and seamless progression from FE courses to third level courses in GMIT’s Galway and Mayo campuses.

The memoranda of understanding were formally signed on Thursday January 25 by Dr Fergal Barry, president of GMIT; David Leahy, chief executive of GRETB and GMIT governing body member; and Shaun Purcell, chief executive of MSLETB and GMIT governing body member, following a meeting of the institute’s governing body.

Equity of access to higher education is a core objective nationally. The vision for the Higher Education Authority’s National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015-19 is to ensure that the student body entering, participating in, and completing higher education at all levels reflects the diversity and social mix of Ireland’s population. This is a vision shared by both parties and GMIT in this agreement.

The new MOUs will involve aligning Level 6 ETB courses with GMIT courses, to allow FE students advanced entry directly into second year of their GMIT programme.

“These agreements are in line with GMIT’s current strategic plan to promote and facilitate access, progression and transfer, and also in line with the Higher Education System Performance Framework which has, as one of its objectives, to ‘significantly improve the equality of opportunity through education and training and recruits a student body that reflects the diversity and social mix of Ireland’s population’,” said Dr Fergal Barry, president of GMIT.

“GMIT is proud of its record to date in providing equality of opportunity to diverse student cohorts, and we have the ambition of significantly growing the number of further education students attending GMIT as a result of these new collaborations.”

Michael Hannon, GMIT VP for academic affairs and registrar, added: “GMIT sees the importance of building closer linkages with the education and training boards in the region. This is with a view to mapping pathways for advanced entry, to promoting relevant pathways for progression to higher education programmes, and easing the transition of both second level and further education students to GMIT.”

David Leahy, chief executive of GRETB, commented: “This MOU with GMIT reflects GRETB’s mission to support individuals through learning, to achieve their full potential and contribute to social, cultural, and economic development within our region.”

Shaun Purcell, chief executive of MSLETB, added: “This MOU reflects MSLETB’s and GMIT’s commitment to preparing people for opportunities in life and living and supporting people to live and work in the west.”

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