Belfast Telegraph

Five institutions offer courses, but some receive more cash than others

By Rebecca Black

If you want to train to be a teacher in Northern Ireland you have a choice of five different institutions.

You can attend St Mary's University College in west Belfast or Stranmillis University College in south Belfast, where you can complete a full undergraduate four-year degree course or a post graduate course.

Or you can study at Queen's University, Ulster University or the Open University, where you can complete a one-year post graduate course.

Of the five, St Mary's and Stranmillis train the most teachers, both of which had enrolments of 569 in 2013/14.

In the same year Queen's trained 138, UU trained 117 and OU trained 20. The Open University is soon to cease teacher training courses. A report carried out by Grant Thornton found that St Mary's and Stranmillis receive significantly more money to train teachers than Queens or UU.

In the financial year 2011/12, Stranmillis and St Mary's received £6,782 and £6,413 respectively, whereas Queen's University and Ulster University received £4,923 and £4,769 respectively.

The Department for Employment and Learning conducted a review of teacher training infrastructure last year.

It examined the financial sustainability of the current system and found it is not sustainable. The second stage of the review involved a panel of experts which produced a report that set out a range of options for the system. These include a collaborative partnership model; a two-centre model with a Belfast Institute of Education; a Northern Ireland Teacher Education Federation, and a Northern Ireland Institute of Education. Stranmillis has indicated a preference for the final option. However, St Mary's has said it will not give up its autonomy, or its site on the Falls Road.

What they received per student in 2011/12

Stranmillis University College: £6,782

St Mary's University College: £6,413

Queen's University: £4,923

Ulster University: £4,769

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