31.08.22 IUA welcomes the launch of the National Access Plan for Equity in Higher Education 2022 - 2028

The Irish Universities Association welcomes the launch today of the new National Access Plan 2022-2028, aimed at improving equity of access, participation and success in higher education for disadvantaged students over the coming six years.

The Plan, which builds on the achievement of many years of widening participation for disadvantaged students across Irish higher education, focuses in particular on students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, students with disabilities, and students from the Traveller and Roma communities.

Students entering third level from all of the priority groups included in the National Access Plan may be eligible to apply for a 1916 Bursary. This is a financial award up to 5,000 euro per year of a student’s course. Applications for the 1916 Bursary open in early September 2022.

While significant progress has been made in recent years to ensure that the student body represents the full diversity of Irish society, and participation rates from under-represented student groups already range from 22-35% across the university sector, much work remains to be done to ensure equity of access and successful participation for all students in Irish higher education. This ambitious Plan seeks to address this.

Colm Downes, IUA Access programme manager, noted that “the focus in this new Plan on target students’ progression and completion rates is particularly welcome, together with the Government’s commitment to reduce the cost of higher education for the most disadvantaged. The additional core funding for higher education which Government has also committed will improve staffing levels, including for student services and support staff, who play a crucial role in ensuring a successful student experience.”


For more information please contact

Kate Wood, IUA Media and Digital Content Manager, kate.wood@iua.ie

Lewis Purser, IUA Director for Learning, Teaching and Academic Affairs, lewis.purser@iua.ie