Tuesday 12 December 2017

Oscar winner's college wants pupil cap lifted

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

COLLEGES, including the one whose graduates received four Oscar nominations this year, must be allowed to take in more students, a teachers' union demanded yesterday.

A government cap on the numbers enrolled on Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses has to be lifted to cope with the rising demand for skills, said Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) president Don Ryan.

In one example, Ballyfermot College of Further Education could accommodate only 1,300 of the 6,200 students who applied last September.

The college has a world- class reputation for animation and one graduate, Richie Baneham, walked away with the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for 'Avatar' in March.

This year's Oscar nominees also included former Ballyfermot pupils Tomm Moore for 'The Secret of Kells', and Darragh O'Connell and Nicky Phelan for 'Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty'.

Anthony Hackett, a teacher at the college, said the pupils' success came despite a lack of technical materials, lack of technicians, lack of space, and cold and damp conditions.

About 60,000 students applied for 30,000 PLC places last year, but the TUI is predicting that an even greater number will be left disappointed this year unless restrictions on enrolments are eased.

Irish Independent

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