College Access places will need to be doubled next year

Senator Marie Sherlock
16 April 2020
  • “Number of College Access places needs to be doubled in 2020 for students from low income backgrounds and for those with a disability”

Following on from the announcement on the Leaving Cert last Friday, Labour Senator Marie Sherlock has called on the Government to support a number of specific changes to the DARE and HEAR third level access programmes. 

Senator Sherlock said:

“Given the lack of supports and lack of class time for many students in the run up to the Leaving certificate, the DARE and HEAR access programmes will assume an even greater importance this year.  

“It is critical that each higher education institution increase their number of “supported/ reduced point offers” on both the DARE and HEAR programmes. Unfortunately, there are many students, who in these very challenging times, will find it very difficult to reach their potential. These two schemes are vital in reducing the points required and in offering additional college supports.

“But this can only be done with the support of Government who need to provide additional funding for these places. It must not be the case that an increase in the number of HEAR and DARE places displaces other students from gaining a place in a third level course. Therefore, it is vital that there is an increase in total number of third level places on offer in 2020.

“In the case of HEAR, we know from Higher Education Authority data that in 2019, some 2,557 or 64% of a total of 3,947 eligible applicants were offered and accepted HEAR places. We can assume that the numbers eligible will increase this year.

“This Government needs to take serious the calls made by Professor Emeritus Áine Hyland and the TUI that the quota for these programmes needs to be increased in 2020.  We need to see a doubling of the number of HEAR and DARE places to ensure that all those eligible can be offered and accept a place.”

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