Widening access

Some good news, for once: a report in yesterday’s Examiner newspaper  revealed that the number of third level applicants seeking to enter a university or college through pathways for the disabled and for those from disadvantaged backgrounds has risen significantly this year. If these applicants – 10,500 of them – secure admission in reasonable numbers it will represent a significant increase in these categories of students.

But it is also important to remember that these advances are possible on the whole not n]because the state has facilitated it, but because the institutions themselves have raised or set aside sums to provide the special support that these students need. It is my fear that as resources become tighter still we may find that the capacity for these special entry pathways will decline. That would have appalling consequences for both higher education and for our need to regenerate Ireland at this point. We must not return to the days when a social underclass was largely excluded from higher education.

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4 Comments on “Widening access”

  1. iainmacl Says:

    “We must not return to the days when a social underclass was largely excluded from higher education.” Absolutely! And it it so good to see the progress that can be made when fees are abolished as they have been in this country and many others.

    As with any such change it takes time to work through the system but at least that necessary (but not sufficient) barrier was removed in the 90s. Let’s hope we don’t return to the bad days when higher education was only available to those who could buy it like a commodity. Next stage, the removal of the ‘registration fee’ and the institution of a proper, progressive taxation system that closes all those loopholes.

    😉 Sorry, couldn’t resist…no need to respond, answer predicted!

  2. iainmacl Says:

    oops…the barrier wasnt ‘necessary’ …its removal is what i meant…hah that’s what i get for quick responses….


  3. […] Widening Access: Third Level Education Posted on September 2, 2010 by Dan O' Neill| Leave a comment I read todays blog post from Ferdinand Von Prondznski. (https://universitydiary.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/widening-access/) […]


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