Progress Review of the National Access Plan and Priorities to 2021

The Progress Review of the National Access Plan and Priorities to 2021 was published in December 2018.

A number of key achievements were highlighted in this review, e.g.:

  • increases in participation across a number of target groups, particularly students with disabilities and from socio-economically disadvantaged groups;
  • the development of an Access Data Plan to support an evidence-based approach to policy-making in this area; and
  • the incorporation of the concept of ‘student success’ into the Higher Education System Performance Framework.

A major element of progress to date and the future implementation of the plan has been the increased investment in new access initiatives. The Government has committed more than €30 million in funding over six years as part of the Programme for Access to Higher Education Fund (PATH).

Notwithstanding these important achievements, key challenges remain including difficulties in meeting targets set for mature students and Irish Travellers.

Since the publication of the Progress Review, the Department of Education and Skills has launched an Action Plan to Promote Traveller Participation in Higher Education and the HEA has commissioned a study on mature student participation. Much work also remains to be done in improving pathways from further to higher education and in enhancing the partnerships between further and higher education institutions to develop access and foundation courses.

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set these optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy page

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone.