AIT Awarded €6 Million to Provide Flexible Upskilling Opportunities

Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) has been awarded €6 million in Springboard+ and HCI funding to deliver a wide range of free or partially funded upskilling opportunities to learners across the Midlands Region.

More than 900 places will be available to prospective learners looking to upskill, change career or return to employment, with courses distributed across AIT’s four facilities: Engineering and Informatics, Science and Health, Business and Hospitality and Continuing, Professional, Online and Distance Learning.

Of the funding, €4 million has been allocated for this year, with a further €1.1 million designated for 2021 and 2022, respectively.

According to AIT President, Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, this “significant amount” further demonstrates “AIT’s relevance to the upskilling requirements of the Midlands Region” and its role in “driving Ireland’s knowledge economy forward’.

The places are available across all levels of the national framework of qualifications, ranging from certificate (level 6), higher diploma (level 8) and postgraduate diploma (level 9) to graduate conversion diploma (level 9) and master’s degree (level 9).

The funding will facilitate the delivery of 30 Springboard+ and seven HCI programmes; the HCI funding, which is spread across three years, is specifically for graduates looking to upskill in a new area of work through a postgraduate diploma.

AIT’s undergraduate and postgraduate course offering is developed in consultation with regional and national stakeholders. This is facilitated through the Midlands Industry and AIT Academic Collaboration Group and ensures that AIT is producing a talent pipeline of graduates equipped with the requisite skills and competencies to meet the growing needs of industry.

“Given the changing nature of learning and the shift towards online learning, our Springboard+ and HCI programmes will be delivered in a flexible/online and blended format,” said Dr Michael Tobin, Dean of the Faculty of Continuing, Professional, Online and Distance Learning at AIT. “We are continuing to move forward with our online/blended model of learning and, in doing so, will employ many new technological innovations this September.”

He continued: “Our objective is to continually improve our delivery channels, enabling a greater number of learners to access relevant and timely education while also enjoying the student experience - albeit remotely.”

Athlone Institute of Technology will launch its part-time/online and flexible offering for 2020/21 on Thursday, 18th June from 10 am - 4pm at the Virtual Education Expo. Attendees will be able to chat directly to Dr Tobin and his team, download course materials and attend several webinars and talks - all live via smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Further details about AIT’s available Springboard+ programmes will also be available at the AIT Virtual Education Expo stall. For more information, visit: www.aitflexiblelearning.ie/www.ait.ie or www.virtualeducationexpo.ie.

Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for employability, inclusion and learning 2014-2020.

Athlone Institute of Technology is a contemporary third level institute distinguished by academic excellence in teaching, learning and research. The institute was awarded The Sunday Times ‘Institute of Technology of the Year 2020, 2018 and Runner-Up in 2017. The institute also tops Ireland’s official league table for research and was listed in U-Multirank’s ‘Top 25 Performing Universities in the World for Interdisciplinary Research’ in 2018 and 2019. For information relating to the institute’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, visit www.ait.ie. #ChooseAIT #DiscoverYourStory

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