Student Development Fund 2019

Student Development Fund for 2019

The closing date now passed (10th April). NALA received 102 applications from our members this year. NALA is very grateful to the following people for going through the applications with our Student and Membership Officer:

  • Michael Duffy from Cavan Adult Learning Centre and chair of our Student Subcommittee and
  • Rose Bronwen from Klear Adult Learning Centre and representing the Adult Literacy Organisers Association.

NALA has approved funding for 93 of the applications and the funding approved ranged from €270 to €650.

What is NALA’s Student Development Fund?

NALA's Student Development Fund provides a grant, of up to €650, to pay for a group activity for students outside the classroom. Centres who receive the fund agree to gather student feedback and send that in to NALA. 

In 2018, 88 adult education centres benefitted from grants from NALA's Student Development Fund. This supported 1,850 students to take part in fun and interesting learning activities outside the classroom and 1,585 of those students gave feedback on looking ahead about literacy and numeracy and their use of the libraries.

The funding was spent on student trips to places of interest, museums and also on workshops. Examples include:

  • Bloom in the Phoenix Park - Dublin 8 Community Education Centre.
  • Lord Mayor of Cork City (picture above), guided tour of St. Finbarre's Cathedral and met the Library Service - Ballincollig, Macroom and Carrigaline centres together in Cork.
  • Rap music workshop. Trainees learned to write, perform and record a rap song - Finglas Community Training Workshop.

See below our Report on the NALA Student Development Fund in 2018.

As a condition of receiving the fund, centres gather student feedback on topics set by NALA. The report has really interesting student feedback on their use of libraries and on what would improve literacy and numeracy levels in Ireland over the next 10 years. If you would like to tell us what you think of the feedback, please email your response.

Who can apply for NALA’s Student Development Fund?

Small and large organisation members of NALA can apply for the fund. Small organisation members can make one application to the fund. Large organisation members can make two applications to the fund.

How can I apply for NALA’s Student Development Fund?

Read the information booklet attached below. After that you can apply for the fund by filling in this online form. The deadline for 2019 is now passed. It was 5pm on Wednesday 10 April 2019.


Why does NALA provide a Student Development Fund?

NALA provide a Student Development Fund to:

1. support student development outside the classroom;

2. contribute to the SOLAS Further Education and Training (FET) Strategy by helping to identify barriers to participation in adult education and strategies to address these barriers; and

3. gather the views of adult literacy and numeracy students so that it informs both NALA’s and the adult education sector’s work. This is a key part of NALA’s Strategic Plan 2017 -2019.


I have a question, who should I contact?

If you have any questions you can email Margaret Murray, Student and Membership Officer, NALA on or telephone Margaret on 01 412 7928.


Mary Gilsenan from Failte Isteach tells of their trip from Dundalk to Dublin on

Saturday 20 October 2018

- funded through the NALA Student Development Fund

The students who went on the trip were from a variety of countries including Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Romania, Albania, Vietnam, Poland, Italy, Spain and Lithuania. 

We used our local bus company to get to Dublin. It was the first time three of our students had travelled to the city on the bus (some talked about being nervous of getting lost, a very genuine feeling). 

The weather on Saturday was fantastic, dry and sunny, a perfect autumn day. We walked from our bus stop in Cathal Brugha St to the National Museum in Kildare St via Trinity College pointing out notable sights along the way.

We spent about an hour and a half in the National Gallery. So much to see, favourite exhibits included, the Gold, the Jewellery, old Tools and artifacts, the treasury, viking exhibits, the bogmen and exhibits titled “Kingship and Sacrifice”.

We then walked around to the National Gallery and our first stop was lunch where we had pre booked our meal. We were treated very well and the food was delicious.

We then got absorbed in viewing all the paintings. Our group were so impressed with the layout of the building, how the old and new sections blended so well together, the colour palette of the rooms where the paintings were displayed and of course the variety of art on view. One student said he was blown away by the gallery.

When asked what you most enjoyed about the day here are some of the responses:

“the whole experience”, “walking”, “talking”, “lunch”, “everything !!!”, “selfies and photos”, “the galleries”, “food”, “the weather”, “being together”, “good company”, “just exploring the city on the walk back to the bus (buskers on Grafton Street)”.

When questioned would they like to go again? 

The response a resounding YES OF COURSE !!!!and that feeling was from everyone who went on the trip .

Many Thanks to NALA from Failte Isteach Dundalk.