Limerick, the capital of the Midwest, has dramatically changed in recent years. Regeneration of the City, the City centre and docklands has made Limerick a vibrant and exciting city. Limerick College of Further Education (LCFE) is located in Mulgrave Street close to the city centre.
LCFE is situated in a three storey nine-bay building, now a protected structure and listed as one of regional importance in the categories of Architecture, Artistic, Historical and Social in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH). It was originally built as the county infirmary and retained this use until 1958. The building was constructed with a sum of £7,000.00 from a benevolent fund. One of the prime drivers behind the push to build this hospital was Sylvester O’Halloran who died in 1807 and never saw the building completed.
In July, 1908 the Earl of Dunraven wrote to the Mayor of Limerick offering to donate £500 to establish a school to provide training for those wishing to pursue commercial and industrial careers. The donation was referred to the City of Limerick Vocational Educational Committee. It was accepted and the VEC guaranteed £75 per year for 5 years. The ‘School of Commerce’ formerly Limerick Senior College and now ‘Limerick College of Further Education came into being on October 4th 1909 at 68 George’s Street (formerly O’Connell Street). In 1959 the City of Limerick VEC purchased the County Infirmary, Mulgrave Street from the Health Board for £15,000.00. The building was completely renovated and extended at a cost of £211,238. In 1963 the school moved to its present location.
Up to circa 1976 the school consisted of Junior and Senior classes up to Leaving Certificate standard and also a number of Secretarial Courses. In 1980 it diversified to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding vocational preparation area and by 1990 the school had established itself as a key provider of Post Leaving Certificate courses in the area. Consequently in 1991 the School of Commerce became Limerick Senior College a name which better reflected the diversity and course provision at the time. In 2008 the College became Limerick College of Further Education (LCFE) a brand that has become synonymous with the provision of Further Education and Training programmes in the Mid-West region.
LCFE consists of six schools offering a broad spectrum of courses: the School of Business and IT, the School of Childcare and Healthcare, the School Beauty & Hairdressing, the School of Creative Media and Visual Arts, the School of Sports, Science and Engineering and the School of Adult and Continuing Education. Significant links have been established with stakeholders appropriate to each school. Quality assurance agreements are in place with QQI and a number of other awarding bodies.
The College is a long established Educational Institution specialising in Post-Leaving Certificate and Further Education courses for both day and night learners. LCFE offers more than fifty programmes at Level 5 & Level 6 over a diverse range of disciplines which are recognised both nationally and internationally.
The College is a dynamic and thriving educational environment which strives to update and introduce new courses to meet the challenges of the 21st century. There has been significant investment in refurbishing and equipping the college to ensure that facilities at LCFE are state-of-the-art reflecting industry standards. LCFE had developed an excellent reputation for helping people to acquire the skills needed for employability and further study which is reflected in a significant increase in enrolments in recent years. With a clear focus and a learner-centred approach LCFE prides itself on offering positive learning experience for its learners.