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Education Minister challenged to explain reasons behind downgrade of UCD Postgraduate Education Diploma

18 October, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s Education Spokesperson, Seán Crowe, TD, has challenged Minister Ruairí Quinn to explain why the Postgraduate Diploma in Education at University College Dublin has been renamed and downgraded from Level 9 to Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Deputy Crowe was speaking after he raised the matter with the Education Minister upon receiving representations from students who have already enrolled on the course and are angry that the exam’s designation has been changed.

He said: “I have asked Minister Quinn to explain the reasoning behind the decision to downgrade the Postgraduate Diploma in Education at University College Dublin (UCD) from level 9 to level 8 and why was this decided after students had already enrolled in the course and paid their registration fees.

“There can be no justification for the devaluing of this very important qualification and UCD must also explain when they were made aware of the Department’s plans and why were students not informed what was happening before they applied for the course under PAC in 2010 for entry in 2011.

“Students who have contacted my office believe they have been hoodwinked into enrolling for a course without being informed that the designation of the exam they were studying would be downgraded. This has implications for when they apply for teaching positions in what is a very competitive market and it may reduce their future pay scales and act as a barrier if they decide to gain employment outside of Ireland.

“The consensus amongst students is that this decision has been made for financial reasons and is an attempt to force those studying for the Diploma to stay on at University and gain an additional qualification. Minister Quinn must clarify the situation immediately.” ENDS

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