Social justice through access programmes : practice, problems & policy

Collins, M and McGuire, David (2002) Social justice through access programmes : practice, problems & policy. In: NCDE Third-Level Conference, 8th and 9th of March 2002, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. (Submitted)

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The issue of educational disadvantage and the low participation of certain socio-economically disadvantaged groups has been recognised as an obstacle to the achievement of social justice in third-level education. Consequently, access programmes have emerged as the mechanism by which many of these inequalities have been 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 higher education. This paper uses the results of a survey of 266 access participants to critically evaluate the benefits of access programmes in addressing issues of social justice at third-level. The survey identifies the socio-economic background of the access programme participants, their pre-programme education level, the primary influences that encouraged them to avail of the access initiative, and the financial concerns that they face. It also addresses the experiences of participants and the factors central to their retention within the programme. Using both quantitative and qualitative data it identifies the problems that exist within these programmes and amongst their participants. Finally the paper concludes with a policy section, which proposes possible remedies for many of the issues raised.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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: 10 Feb 2009 14:50
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2017 15:37


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