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About the Admissions Strategy

In November 2022, Council considered a memo from the Vice Provost/Chief Academic Officer which outlined the need for a co-ordinated university admissions strategy, a clear articulation of our vision for the make-up of the student body in the coming years and how we respond to the needs of the student body. This strategy should consider all student cohorts.

Using 2021/22 as the baseline, over the past decade the student body in Trinity has grown by 23%, with international registrations now representing 17.5 % (those students paying non-EU fees) and postgraduates representing 30% of the total student body. However, the pressures of changing population demographics and increasing emphasis on lifelong learning and continuing development place significant pressures on all resources and challenge us to consider how we imagine Trinity of the future and the makeup of its student body.

As we welcomed 20,416 students into Trinity this academic year and anticipate welcoming another 796 students later this month, it seems reasonable to suggest that we are reaching capacity in all contexts. In recent years the strategic impetus has been around increasing student numbers to achieve growth. Therefore, consideration of the student body should pay due regard to the potential for incentivised growth to support strategic school growth.

Join the Discussion

It is within these contexts, that all staff were invited to engage in an open discussion in relation to Trinity’s ambitions regarding the composition of the student body and the related admissions strategy. This is an opportunity for us to explore and reflect on the direction we should take on what the student body will look like.

To start the discussion the following were some questions that were considered, We look forward to receiving additional thoughts and comments as part of the consultation process.

  • How do we define a student?
  • Who is a Trinity student?
  • What does the typical student body look like in a research-intensive university and in particular the proportion of students registered for research degrees?
  • As a research-intensive university with an ambition to be a “good university”, what types of learners does Trinity want to attract?
  • Do we want to stay as we are?
  • What is our ambition in terms of our student composition?
  • What is our ambition regarding the types of courses we offer?
  • How can we best ensure we have student diversity as part of our admissions strategy?
  • Is 21k the maximum student body we should have? Can we imagine a balance that might have a different maximum number? What does this look like in terms of the proportion of
    • undergraduate students vs postgraduate students?
    • research vs taught postgraduate students?
    • full-time vs part time students vs occasional students?
  • Is a rethink required around the types of programmes that we offer – a personalised approach so that an individual can build their own programme (e.g., CPD, micro-credentials, stackable modules)? How might this work?
  • When does teaching take place and how often? E.g., evenings, weekends, flexible, more than one cycle per year
  • What is a teaching day? E.g., 9am – 5pm, later, earlier
  • What is the optimal mode of delivery? – e.g. Only in person, hybrid, fully online.
  • Where does teaching take place? Should transnational provision be considered?

Admissions Strategy Survey

As part of the development of a university admissions strategy, we invited all staff to complete a short survey with 11 questions.

Please note that the data collected in this survey:(i) will be used for stated purposes only: to contribute to the Admission Strategy (ii) will not be linked to any other data set and (iii) will be subject to the University’s Data Protection policies.

The closing date of this survey was Wednesday 19 April 2023 and we are currently analysing the results. In parallel we sent a similar survey to each Head of School to get the perspective of the 24 Schools. The closing date for this survey is 05 May 2023

Next Steps

A position paper will be developed through these consultations, aimed at seeking detailed input, feedback to these and other questions representing where Trinity would like to be in terms of our student body. An update will be brought to Council in June 2023 for consideration.

Email Us

Should you have any queries on the above please contact Fedelma McNamara, Academic Services Division, at

Email Us