Irish universities and Government are committed to the objective of promoting equality of access to higher education, irrespective of social class, age or disability. To widen access to higher education, the Irish universities – along with a number of partner colleges – have developed a range of initiatives to meet this objective, including the DARE & HEAR supplementary admission routes:
2015 DARE HEAR Promotional Video:
Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)
The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a college and university admissions scheme which offers places on a reduced points basis to school leavers with disabilities. DARE has been set up by a number of colleges and universities as evidence shows that disability can have a negative effect on how well a student does at school and whether they go on to college.
DARE is for school leavers who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who may not be able to meet the points for their preferred course due to the impact of their disability.
For further information regarding DARE and how to apply, please click here.
Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)
The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a college and university admissions scheme which offers places on reduced points and extra college support to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
HEAR has been set up by a number of colleges and universities as evidence shows that socio-economic disadvantage can have a negative effect on how well a student does at school and whether they go on to college.
HEAR Applicants must meet a range of financial, social and cultural indicators to be considered for a reduced points place and extra college support.
HEAR is for school leavers under the age of 23 who have completed an Irish Leaving Certificate.
For further information regarding HEAR and how to apply, please click here.
DARE HEAR Evaluation
In 2012, the HEAR / DARE Strategic Development Group put out a call for tenders for the evaluation of the HEAR and DARE schemes. The study, An Evaluation of the HEAR and DARE Supplementary Admission Routes to Higher Education, which was carried out by Dr. Delma Byrne and a team from NUI Maynooth and the University of Edinburgh, was completed in November 2013.
The evaluation report reveals that:
HEAR and DARE entrants are performing well in terms of their participation and progression chances.
HEAR and DARE entrants are more likely to make the transition from acceptance of an offer to participation in higher education relative to the wider cohort of higher education applicants.
The evaluation finds that these groups have similar progression probabilities to all other new entrants in making the transition to second year.
Click here for a copy of the HEAR DARE Evaluation Report.