3,600 Teagasc Green Cert applicants yet to be accommodated

The high demand for Teagasc Green Cert programmes has meant that there are 3,600 applicants that have yet to be accommodated.

The demand for adult Green Cert courses for the distance education and part-time options remains exceptionally high, according to Teagasc’s Head of Education, Tony Pettit.

Teagasc expect to have accommodated nearly 4,400 enrolees to the adult Green Cert programme in the period from autumn 2014 to the end of 2016.

“A further 3,600 people who have formally logged their interest in the Teagasc Green Cert programme have yet to be accommodated,” he said.

Overall college enrolments for Teagasc level 5, level 6, and Teagasc linked higher education courses in agriculture, horticulture, equine and forestry for the 2016/17 academic year stand at 1,873.

While this figure is 5% lower than applications seen in 2015, overall enrolments remain on a par with 2014 and 2013 levels, figures from Teagasc show.

Meanwhile, provisional enrolment data for the entry level 5 certificate in agriculture, shows that 570 students commenced their studies, a decline of about 10% relative to the 2015/16 academic year.

These are mostly school leavers going to the four Teagasc and three private agricultural colleges, the Head of Education said.

Despite fluctuations in enrolments across programmes total combined enrolments are broadly comparable with recent years.

“However the improving employment opportunities leading to an upsurge in enrolments in other sectors such as craft apprenticeship programmes indicate enrolments to agricultural colleges are beyond their exceptional peak of recent years,” Pettit said.

Earlier this year, it also emerged that the number of applications to level 8 agricultural science courses for the 2016/17 year had dropped by 26% on the previous year, figures obtained by Agriland from the Central Applications Office (CAO) show.

In 2016, some 483 students put agriculture top of their first preference list for level 8 courses, compared to 657 last year.

For level 7/6 ag science courses, application numbers are also down. Some 528 applicants have put agriculture down as a first preference, compared to 735 last year, which is a drop of 28%.

Some 1,677 applications were received by the CAO this year for the courses, compared to 2,259 in 2015, the figures show.