Jargon Buster

It can be difficult to go on a new journey when you don’t understand the language that is spoken. College has many words that describe a similar process as well as acronyms that are used interchangeably. Things can get confusing. Do not despair; this section is going to focus on demystifying the language that is used in college. This section is going to be your official ‘jargon busting’ guide to college. If there is a word that is not on the list related to your journey into college do not hesitate to contact College Connect as we are here to support you in your journey to college.

The All-Island Research Observatory (AIRO) undertakes academic and applied mapping research and produces spatial datasets and specialist tools to aid in their analysis. AIRO is supporting College Connectt College Connect throughout the implementation of the programme.

Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.

The Back to Education Allowance scheme (BTEA) is an educational opportunities scheme for people in receipt of certain social welfare payments wishing to pursue second or third level courses of education, subject to meeting the qualifying conditions.

The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions.

The development objective of the Community Development Project (CDP) is to establish an effective and sustainable instrument to improve the living conditions and the economic status of disadvantaged communities.

Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) works with and for people affected by dyslexia, by providing information, offering appropriate support services, engaging in advocacy and raising awareness of dyslexia.

The Department of Education and Skills is a department of the Government of Ireland. It is led by the Minister for Education and Skills who is assisted by two Ministers of State

Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) the Action Plan for Educational Inclusion, was launched in May 2005 and remains the Department of Education and Skills policy instrument to address educational disadvantage. The action plan focuses on addressing and prioritising the educational needs of children and young people from disadvantaged communities, from pre-school through second-level education (3 to 18 years).

Further Education covers education and training which occurs after second level schooling but which is not part of the third level system. There are number of providers of Further and Adult Education and Training and a wide variety of schools, organisations and institutions, are involved in the delivery of continuing education and training for young school leavers and adults.

The Further Education and Training (FET) system delivers a continuum of learning opportunities from Level 1 to Level 6 of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), focused on both core and specific skills development accompanied by a range of learner supports to facilitate the active inclusion of all citizens.

The Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) is a former statutory awarding body for further education in Ireland; it was established on June 11, 2001 under the Qualifications Act 1999. FETAC was dissolved and its functions were passed to Quality and Qualifications Ireland on November 6, 2012.

The higher education system in Ireland consists of the university sector, institutes of technology and private independent colleges.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory planning and policy development body for higher education and research in Ireland. The HEA has wide advisory powers throughout the whole of the third-level education sector. In addition, it is the funding authority for the universities, Institutes of Technology and a number of designated higher education institutions.

The Higher Education Institutions are the institutions that provide Higher Education provision in Ireland. They must be approved for the purpose of the free fees initiative and be in receipt of public funding from the Department of Education and Skills for the purpose of higher education and research.

The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) is a system of ten levels used to describe the Irish qualifications system. The NFQ is based on standards of knowledge, skill and competence and incorporates awards made for all kinds of learning, wherever it is gained. Check out the ‘Your Journey’ section of the website to more information on the NFQ.

One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) is a payment for men and women under 66 who are bringing children up without the support of a partner. To get this payment you must meet certain conditions and you must satisfy a means test.

Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses are full-time programmes for young people who have completed their Leaving Certificate and adults returning to education. The course lasts one to two years and leads to an award on the National Framework of Qualifications at NFQ Level 5 or NFQ Level 6.

The aim of Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) is to reduce poverty, promote social inclusion and equality through local, regional and national engagement and collaboration.

Student Universal Support Ireland [SUSI] is Ireland's national awarding authority for all higher and further education grants. Check out the ‘funding college’ section of the website, for more information on SUSI.

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) is responsible for the external quality assurance of further and higher education and training (including English language provision) and validates programmes and makes awards for certain providers in these sectors. QQI is also responsible for the maintenance, development and review of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).