New figures show extent of ‘class gap’ in higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 23rd, 2018 by steve

“New figures show the extent of the ‘class gap’ in higher education with students from fee-paying schools far more likely to attend a handful of top Dublin-based universities. Students from fee-paying schools account for 20-25% of undergraduates at Trinity and UCD …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 23 July]

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Why most Irish doctors in future will be white, female and middle-class

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2018 by steve

“The modern day Irish medical student is likely to be young, female, Dublin-based and from an affluent background. That is according to a Higher Education Authority study on the profile of medical students. The report provides a stark snapshot of who our future healthcare professionals will be and how lacking in diversity the student body is compared to many other sectors of society …” (more)

[Aine McMahon, Irish Times, 10 April]

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Trinity needs to shake off its classist image

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on February 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“In truth, such a historic and prestigious school as Trinity was always going to have an image as a classist institution, based solely on the fact that, until very recently in its history, only a small percentage of society have been able to afford a college education. The most obvious result of this is that it shaped the connotations that people, mostly rural in background, have of Trinity and universities as a whole …” (more)

[Jessica Gorman, Trinity News, 12 February]

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Narrowing participation: calculating the likely impact of two-year degrees isn’t simple maths

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 20th, 2017 by steve

“Can university degrees be accelerated? This is the question a recent government consultation seeks to answer. Steven Jones writes that, mathematically, three years of learning could indeed be compressed into two. But he explains why the option would be viewed very differently across social classes, and why it is not a good idea …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 20 December]

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Health and Inequality: Inequality in Third Level Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The social class divide that has been persistent in the Irish education system has impacted on the abilities of students from the lower socioeconomic groups progressing to third level education. The Irish government has introduced multiple policies that aim to tackle these inequalities …” (more)

[College Tribune, 14 November]


What I’m really thinking: A working class student from the country

Posted in Life on March 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“When I was in Montessori school, my teacher sold me the ‘Disney’ line that I could be whatever I wanted to be and I believed her. I went home and did some digging in the back garden with my dad and decided I was going to do that for a living because it was fun …” (more)

[Stacey Wrenn, Trinity News, 23 March]

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Inequalities in higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Further to ‘New figures expose class divide in higher education’ (February 7th), if institutes of technology have a higher proportion of their students qualifying for grants, surely this should be celebrated as evidence that the institutes of technology have opened up opportunities to less-favoured regions and social groups. Instead we have the complaint that the universities are relatively elitist …” (more)

[John Sheehan, Irish Times, 8 February]

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That narrative around third level access

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“This is news? ‘An Irish Times analysis on the proportion of students on grants across the higher and further education sector last year contains some revealing findings. It shows a striking class divide, with students from better-off families far more likely to occupy places at the country’s top universities …'” (more)

[The Cedar Lounge Revolution, 7 February]


New figures expose class divide in higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Up to three-quarters of students in some of the State’s colleges are reliant on grant support, according to new figures that highlight the scale of the class divide in Irish higher education. School-leavers from more affluent backgrounds are much more likely to have places in universities offering high-points degrees …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 February]

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Mind the gap: the stark class divide in access to third level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Students from disadvantaged areas are still much less likely to progress to higher education. The challenges have been identified, but how do we go about bridging the social divide? …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 12 April]

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The Big Question: Does Trinity have a class problem?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Life on November 3rd, 2014 by steve

Ireland“In a poll last year conducted by the Trinity identity Initiative, 72% of Irish people said they regarded Trinity as ‘snobbish’. This led me to the question: do we fulfill the traditional Trinity stereotype still much held by Irish society? …” (more)

[Rachel Lavin, University Times, 3 November]

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Social class of school a key factor in third level attendance

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 12th, 2014 by steve

“The social class of a school is a greater determinant of whether a Leaving Cert student will go to college than his or her family background, a study has revealed. The ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute) report highlights the importance of creating ‘a culture of high expectations’ in all schools, as well as a ‘whole-school approach to guidance’ …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 12 August]

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Students with under 300 points struggle to stay in college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 14th, 2014 by steve

“Financial hardship among students has increased in the last four years and is a factor in college drop outs, suggests a report from the Higher Education Authority. Drop-out rates from some lower socio-economic groups has increased while students from farming and professional families were least likely to drop out …” (more)

[Fiona Gartland, Irish Times, 14 July]

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Students from poorer backgrounds less likely to go to college if they have to travel

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Research on November 7th, 2013 by steve

“Students from poorer backgrounds are less likely to go to college if they have to travel. Their chances of attending third-level can be measured in kilometres (kms), a new study has found …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 November]

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Increase in third level entrants from wealthier backgrounds

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 20th, 2013 by steve

“Equal access data from the Higher Education Authority has shown that third level entrants from the top three socio-economic backgrounds continue to increase, with those from less wealthy background dropping off …” (more)

[, 20 March]

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Well-off children snap up college places

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 20th, 2013 by steve

“Children from better-off backgrounds are snapping up even more college places as the gap between social classes widens …” (more)

[Independent, 20 March]

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ESRI research suggests working-class pupils given poor guidance

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 2nd, 2012 by steve

“Some schools may be setting college and other targets too low for students from working-class backgrounds, research suggests. The ESRI says guidance counsellors in schools serving working-class populations are more likely to emphasise personal support aspects of their role than those in other schools …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 2 November]

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Social class and educational attainment of Irish children

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 25th, 2010 by steve

“It is well known that children from high SES backgrounds do much better in school and this explains, at least proximately, the very sharp SES gradient with regard to university entrance. Or, to put it in English, working class kids get, on average, much worse Leaving Certs …” (more)

[Kevin Denny, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 25 August]

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Top performers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 14th, 2009 by steve

“Poor students top performers at elite unis – similar picture to Irish results – The Australian” (tweet)

[Colm Harmon, Twitter, 13 December]

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Study uncovers class divide in universities

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 24th, 2009 by steve

“Children of professionals are 10 times more likely to go to university than the sons or daughters of unskilled workers. New research reveals that just 2.5pc of first year students at university last year came from unskilled backgrounds. By contrast, almost a quarter were from professional backgrounds, a fifth came from employer or managerial backgrounds and 8.7pc were the children of farmers. Children of agricultural workers accounted for only 0.3pc of first year university intake; semi-skilled for 5.1pc; skilled manual for 9.9pc; and non-manual for 9.7pc. The socio-economic intake into the institutes of technology was different, with a higher percentage of children of unskilled workers …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 24 February]

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