TCD Links with CDVEC to Deliver Course for Disadvantaged Students

Posted on: 25 January 2005

Three City of Dublin Vocational Education Colleges have joined a partnership with Trinity College to develop a course that will prepare socio-economic disadvantaged mature students and young adults for access to third level education. The partnership was launched today (Tuesday 25 January) by Tom Boland, CEO of the Higher Education Authority. The CDVEC colleges involved in the initiative are Pearse, Plunket and Liberties, all with a strong track record in preparing students not only for higher education, but also for training and employment. The partnership is enabled by the drive over the past number of years by the Department of Education and Science to create a structure through the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) to allow for progression across and within the second, further and higher Irish education systems. The initiative is also in response to the HEA’s Action Plan 2005-07 “Achieving Equity of Access to Higher Education in Ireland”, which calls for “increased collaboration between the higher education, further education and second level sectors on entry arrangements for access and successful participation in higher education”. Academic and administrative staff from Trinity and the CDVEC colleges are working closely with the Further Education and Training Council (FETAC), the HEA and the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) on the development of the course. The course is under development and running as a pilot in the academic year 2004-05. It will prepare students for access to a wide range of higher education courses, especially within the social sciences and humanities. If successfully accredited within the NQAI, the course can be delivered locally across Ireland thus providing the opportunity for disadvantaged students across Ireland to compete on par with all other students for a place in Trinity College. “Trinity is committed to increasing its proportion of first year undergraduate students from non-traditional backgrounds to 15 percent. At present this proportion is nearly 11 percent. The new partnership launched today to facilitate access will help redress the existing imbalance in the socio-economic balance profile of the student body” `, explained the Provost, Dr. John Hegarty at the launch.