Loan plan for jobless to take post-grad courses

 

IN THE first scheme of its kind, DCU and Bank of Ireland are offering discounted loans to those recently unemployed who wish to study engineering and computing at postgraduate level.

Under the scheme, students can borrow up to €15,000 to defray college fees and expenses.

But any repayment can be delayed for 18 months, giving students a measure of financial freedom during their studies.

The scheme is available for students who wish to enter DCU this September or in March 2010.

The scheme is targeting graduates who have recently become unemployed and who wish to upskill.

Applicants must be unemployed for a period of a year or less. They should also meet the university’s minimum entry requirements.

Bank of Ireland’s normal lending criteria and terms and conditions apply.

Yesterday, DCU president Prof Ferdinand von Prondzynski said that the “reskilling” and “upskilling” of graduates, particularly in engineering and computing, was an important strategic response to the needs of industry and the economy.

“This initiative is just one of a number of schemes set up by DCU in response to the need for a more specialised workforce as well as to the rapid increase in unemployment.

“DCU is delighted to co-operate with the Bank of Ireland in offering this opportunity to students.”

The postgraduate courses available on the scheme include: Graduate Diploma in Information Technology; MSc in Electronic Commerce; MSc in Security and Forensic Computing; MSc in Software Engineering; MEng in Electronic Systems; MEng in Telecommunications Engineering; MSc in Computer-Aided Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering; and the Graduate Diploma in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Students who are interested in the scheme should visit the DCU website for further details – http://www.dcu.ie/upskilling/boi.shtml

As the controversy about the poor take-up in Leaving Cert maths and science continued yesterday, the director general of Engineers Ireland, John Power,said speedier reform was required.

Reacting to the ongoing low numbers studying maths and the physical sciences, he suggested the current timelines for reform were too slow.

While the new maths course known as Project Maths was laudable, it was merely a pilot scheme at this point with full roll-out not effective until September 2010, he said. It would then be several years before we could assess whether it was successful or not, he added.