Higher options conference: 25,000 students expected


MORE THAN 25,000 students are expected to attend The Irish Times Higher Options exhibition which opens at the RDS in Dublin today.

The three-day exhibition provides information for students on college options in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Britain and across the EU. This year, over 130 colleges are represented at Higher Options.

Now in its 26th year, Higher Options is run by The Irish Times in conjunction with the Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC).

At the opening of the exhibition last night, The Irish Times Editor Kevin O’Sullivan said the path to college could be confusing and not a little bewildering for students.

“We know Higher Options plays a key role in providing valuable and in-depth information to students. It helps them to make the right college choice – and that is no small achievement in itself.”

IGC president Gerry Flynn said Higher Options was an essential “one-stop shop” for students seeking the best and most up-to-date information on college options. It had become an essential part of the education calendar, he added.

The launch was also attended by Jan Truszczynski, director general of the European Commission’s department for education and culture.

The commission is using the exhibition to promote its “Youth on the Move” initiative. Among other things, this will provide financial support to students who opt to work, study or volunteer abroad.

Mr O’Sullivan also paid tribute to the late Christina Murphy who in her role as Irish Times education correspondent, helped to establish Higher Options.

He stressed how The Irish Times today remained “hugely committed to the best education reporting and analysis in print and digitally. It is a core part of what we are.”

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn is scheduled to visit the exhibition today.