Figures Reveal 60% Increase In Flexible Learning Students

The Flexible Learning Initiative, taking place on Wednesday October 26th, aims to raise awareness of the benefits of flexible learning.  Flexible learning has become a learning method of choice for thousands of people in Ireland, as it delivers education around the needs of students who have work or family commitments – it crucially allows the student to ‘study in your own place at your own pace.’  Since 2008/2009 there has been a 57% increase in the numbers of students studying on programmes classified as ‘e-learning’ in the Institutes of Technology. For the same period, the numbers of students categorised as ‘distance learning’ students have increased by 47%. This sizable increase in flexible learning represents significant growth in percentage terms and also a significant shift in the way Institutes consider this type of education.

Some students who have benefited from flexible learning from Irish institutions include Sligo rugby star David McGowan, based in France and Yoni Novick, a New York based professional, who both undertook e-learning through IT Sligo.  Also, young mother Jenny McElroy from Dundalk who is working full time, studying part-time and juggling family commitments has found flexible learning to be hugely beneficial. Flexible learning makes education accessible to a broad range of students, and enables students to make the most of the learning in the time frame and course structure that is right for them, such as online, evening classes, or distance learning.

Dr. Richard Thorn, Director of Flexible Learning at the Institutes of Technology Ireland, commented “Flexible learning is designed for anyone who wants to develop their skills, enhance their qualifications, and can help secure better employment prospects., a website designed to promote flexible learning, wants to support those who are interested in upskilling to make it as simple and straightforward as possible to research and register for courses to fit in with their lifestyles.  A major consideration for those who wish to move forward and build on their existing qualifications is the time constraints that may be placed on them due to work or family commitments.  Students who choose the flexible learning option can find a wide array of learning options open to them that will not interfere with their already hectic lifestyles.”, the revolutionary education website, is one of the initiatives being discussed during the event. Other flexible learning initiatives will include maths support for adult learners, on-line classrooms and discussions on how institutes have became more learner centered to facilitate those that want to return to education. This conference will be held at The Ashling Hotel, Dublin on October 26th with leaders in this sector, and will include a number of speakers on the theme of upskilling, flexible learning and the benefits of further education.

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