Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton has announced an expansion of the number of places on post primary teacher education courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. There will be additional places provided in the priority areas of STEM, Irish and Foreign Languages.
While the numbers graduating from post primary teacher education courses – both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, have remained broadly constant over the past number of years, the number of students entering post primary is increasing and will continue to do so until 2025. The Government is responding to this growth by increasing the number of places on post primary teacher education programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
The state has set out new strategies in STEM, foreign languages and digital. Each of these strategies is committed to taking action to address the supply of teachers in these areas.
The new measures are:
The Universities will increase the capacity on undergraduate initial teacher education programmes by an estimated 280 places in 2018.
This includes an increase in the priority areas of STEM, Irish and foreign languages of more than 100 places, an increase of over 40% on 2017 in these areas.
At postgraduate level, the Universities will increase the capacity on PME programmes by more than 100 places in the priority areas of STEM, Irish and foreign languages.
The universities and Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC) have extended the closing date to Friday 13 April for applications for entry to PME programmes for Irish and the targeted STEM and foreign language subjects (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, French, German, Spanish and Italian).
Minister Bruton said this year’s provisional CAO figures show an 8% increase in those applying to study primary education and 4% increase to secondary education.