The HEA is now inviting PATH-funded HEIs to submit proposals under PATH 4 Phase 2 for additional provision for students with intellectual disabilities.
PATH 4 is supported by funding of €12m over a four-year period starting in 2022 and is being implemented on a phased basis as follows:
- Phase 1 (2022) – Universal Design Fund – Supporting inclusive universally designed higher education environments for all (once-off fund based on allocations to PATH-funded HEIs and approved project plans)
- Phase 2 (2023-2025) – Proposals for course provision for students with intellectual disabilities (competitive call for proposals)
Phase 1 supports the embedding of Universal Design (UD) approaches and inclusive practices in HEIs which will benefit all students and in particular autistic students and enable the building of capacity in HEIs for greater participation by students with intellectual disabilities in higher education. All HEI project plans under Phase 1 were approved in 2022 and are now in implementation stage.
Phase 2 will involve a three-year pilot to support an enhancement of course provision for students with intellectual disabilities and to inform future policy considerations in respect of students with intellectual disabilities.
PATH 4 is a key driver in delivering the following objectives, under the Inclusivity goal in the new National Access Plan:
- To embed a whole-of-institution approach to student success and universal design
- To improve opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to engage in higher education
Call for Proposals
Phase 2 of PATH 4 consists of a competitive call for proposals for the enhancement of course provision in higher education for students with intellectual disabilities.
Starting in 2023, the total funding available under PATH 4 Phase 2 is €3m per annum (or €9m over three years).
Purpose of the Funding
Phase 2 will operate on a three-year pilot basis and is intended to:
- Enhance course provision for students with intellectual disabilities across HEIs currently participating in the PATH programme, including students with intellectual disabilities from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and other National Access Plan priority groups.
- To support future evidence-informed policy considerations in respect of the successful participation of students with intellectual disabilities in higher education including:
- an understanding on how engagement in higher education can support real outcomes, including employment, for students with intellectual disabilities.
- establishing an evidence base for a full and holistic cost of provision for students with intellectual disabilities encompassing fees, cost of provision for institution, day-to-day expenses, transport, student supports, mental health, preparation for interviews, etc.
Phase 2 is also intended to contribute to the following:
- The implementation by HEIs of the Inclusivity goal, and its related objectives and actions, of the National Access Plan.
- To enable the creation of inclusive built and digital environments in higher education which can be accessed by all, and which supports increased engagement, progression, and success for all students, benefiting all priority groups in the National Access Plan, including students with intellectual disabilities.
- To develop the higher education sector’s capacity for inclusive teaching, learning and assessment to enable greater opportunities for participation in higher education by all students including students with intellectual disabilities.
All proposals must demonstrate:
- Enhancement of provision
- Meaningful engagement to respond to student voice.
- Targeted outcomes and
- Integration of Universal Design framework.
It is not the purpose of PATH 4 Phase 2 to address issues faced by students with intellectual disabilities which are beyond the remit of the higher education sector including the assessments and supports provided by other state bodies and agencies.
Further information including details on Phase 2 consultation sessions, evaluation criteria, reporting requirements, conditions of funding and a list of eligible HEIs can be found in the call for proposals document below. The HEA requests that all applicants read this document in full before submitting a proposal.
Submission of Proposals
Proposals under PATH 4 Phase 2 should be submitted to the HEA Executive at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, 12 October 2023.
If you have any queries in relation to the PATH 4 Phase 2 Call for Proposals, please contact email@example.com.