DIT launch Access Strategy 2007-2010

Dublin, May 21st 2007: Michael Kelly, Chairperson of the Higher Education Authority, launched the DIT Access Strategy 2007-2010 on Wednesday (23rd May) in DIT Aungier Street. Recognising that higher education has a key role to play in addressing current inequalities in participation, DIT outlined its proposals at the launch for widening participation for under represented groups at third-level and beyond.

The overall aim of the strategy is to "Ensure wider participation and equality of outcome in higher education by promoting access to higher education and facilitating access students' participation and progression in DIT, through partnership with staff and students, education providers and communities". According to Dr. Tommy Cooke, Head of Community Links in DIT "This strategy is being launched at an exciting time for DIT and we hope to work closely with communities close to Grangegorman where our new DIT campus is being developed."

The strategy outlines the Institute's vision for developing access to DIT for young people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. DIT has provided access for over 550 students through the access entry route to date while over 10,000 second and primary level students have benefited from various access initiatives for schools. There are currently 300 access students registered in DIT across six faculties. The strategy document states that its main objective is to increase this number to 500 by 2010, by which time a minimum of 5% of the DIT first-year intake will come from an educationally disadvantaged background. The plan also aims to develop current and new intiatives with schools and communities and expand current access entry routes into DIT.

The launch highlighted the important role that access plays in DIT and outlined the six key objectives of the strategy. Access Officer, Julie Bernard is confident that these can be achieved but notes that 'Students from a background where there is no tradition of third level education can face barriers in accessing higher education. Implementing this strategy will ensure that more students from disadvantaged areas participate in higher education and benefit from the support of the Access Service'.

At the launch there was a short video presentation in which students reflected on their experiences in accessing DIT.

For further information or a copy of the Strategy contact:
Julie Bernard,
DIT Access Officer
T: 01 402 7604
E: Julie.bernard@dit.ie

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