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Written Answers. - Therapy Training Places.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 245. Mr. O'Shea Information on Brian O'Shea Zoom on Brian O'Shea  asked the Minister for Education and Science Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  the number of students who took up third level places to study speech and language therapy in the 2002-03 academic year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24485/02]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey There were 29 places available on the speech and language therapy course at the University of Dublin, Trinity College for the academic year 2002-03. The provisional figure for the number of students in first year of the course is 27 and 25 of these are new entrants.

Last May my predecessor, Deputy Michael Woods, announced the provision of 75 new training places in the area of speech and language therapy. This was done to combat a shortage of therapists as identified by the Bacon report entitled Current and Future Supply and Demand Conditions in the Labour Market for Certain Professional Therapists. These additional places will be located at the following institutions: University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Cork 25 places – Bachelor of Science in Speech and Language Therapy; National University of Ireland, Galway 25 places – Bachelor of Science in Speech and Language Therapy; and the University of Limerick 25 places – Master of Science in Speech and Language Therapy.

It is expected that the first intake to these courses will commence in the 2003-04 academic year.

[1072]

 246. Mr. O'Shea Information on Brian O'Shea Zoom on Brian O'Shea  asked the Minister for Education and Science Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  further to Parliamentary Question No. 364 of 18 June, if all the additional 175 places indicated in the reply have been taken up; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24486/02]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey The provision of an additional 175 professional therapy training places to tackle the shortage of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists was announced on 29 May. These places are being provided in response to the recommendations set out in the report from Dr. Peter Bacon and Associates on current and future supply and demand conditions in the labour market for physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists, which was launched in July 2001.

The distribution of the additional places is as follows:

University College Cork, National University of Ireland – Cork25 places – bachelor of science in speech and language therapy

25 places – bachelor of science in occupational therapy

National University of Ireland, Galway25 places – bachelor of science in speech and language therapy

25 places – bachelor of science in occupational therapy

University of Limerick25 places – master of science in speech and language therapy

25 places – master of science in occupational therapy

25 places – bachelor of science in physiotherapy

There was an intake of 28 to the bachelor of science in physiotherapy at the University of Limerick in October 2002. Preparatory arrangements, including the recruitment of necessary staff, are being made by the institutions concerned to enable first intakes to the other additional courses to commence in 2003.


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