Supports needed for third level education - Crowe
Speaking today, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Seán Crowe welcomed a new survey which stated that 74 per cent of Institute of Technology students completed their degree /diploma or certificate course in 2004, an increase of 16 per cent from 1999.
Deputy Crowe stated that "while this is positive news, we must not become complacent as there are still one in four students who drop out of ITs before completing their course.
"I would like to commend those who have made Institutes of Technology the success that they are. The Institutes have opened the doors of higher education to literally thousands of people and are making significant inroads in increasing participation for lower socio-economic groups.
"However, widening access on its own is not enough; these students must be supported to complete their third level education.
"Supports that are in place for University students should also be in place for IT students, and the government must ensure this if they are serious about eradicating educational disadvantage and inequality
"Providing crèche facilities for students is a must. In addition counselling and other support mechanisms need to be built on.
"I would also call for a greater flexibility to be shown regarding the academic year for students in ITs. The first year seems to be the problematic year for students dropping out. It is crucial that students receive necessary supports to continue and ultimately complete their courses" ENDS