Financial issues for third-level access programme participants : identification and policy implications

Collins, M and McGuire, David (2002) Financial issues for third-level access programme participants : identification and policy implications. Administration, 50 (3). pp. 63-83. ISSN 0001-8325

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In recognition of significant inequalities of participation, completion and achievement within the Irish education system, the issue of education disadvantage has been identified as a key element of social exclusion. Consequently various initiatives have been established at all levels of the education sector to attempt to address this problem. At third level, access programmes have emerged as the mechanism by which these inequalities are addressed. Their focus has been to reduce the sustained levels of under-representation by socio-economically disadvantaged students at third level by enabling their entry into the sector and by further assisting their retention within it. The allocation of €120m in the National Development Plan 2000–2006 to tackle third-level disadvantage and the recent report of the government action group on third-level access underscore the growing attention this problem is receiving. This article assesses access programmes and in particular attempts to address the financial issues faced by access participants during their time in third-level education. The article reports the findings of a cross-sectional survey of 266 socio-economically disadvantaged access students from four third-level institutions in Ireland. The survey identifies the socio-economic background of participants, their pre-programme education levels and the financial issues that they face. Based on the survey findings, a series of policy interventions are proposed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The authors wish to acknowledge the co-operation and assistance of Imelda Byrne, National University of Ireland Galway; Paula Fitzell, University of Limerick; Pauline Lenihan, Limerick Institute of Technology; and Deirdre O’Connor, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in conducting the research for this paper.
Divisions: School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management > Business, Enterprise & Management
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2009 14:10
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2017 13:32


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