DCU students in receipt of more grants than other Dublin colleges

Credit: SUSI

Many variables including geographic location and minimum entry requirements play into why DCU has the highest number of grant recipients of Dublin universities, DCU Access said.

According to a report on the Irish Times, over 50% of DCU students are in receipt of a grant.

The Access Service work with students who used the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) to go though third level education across Ireland. HEAR is a third level scheme offering places on reduced points to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged background.

Susan Hawkins, DCU Access Outreach Officer believes there are a number of variables into why DCU has the highest number of grant recipients. One of which is the quality and size of their Outreach programme to their linked schools in the local area.

“If you look at the 2011 census, in the north of Dublin, within a five mile radius of DCU you would have a number of areas that would be considered to be disadvantaged; based on social welfare, based on family income, based on level of education,” Hawkins said.

“So, if a students is going to go to college obviously they’re going to try to go to the college that’s closest to where they live because if money is an issue they can’t afford to go to college in a different county.

DCU Access has the largest outreach programme in Ireland, focusing on bringing second level students on to DCU campuses. Hawkins explained they are unique as DCU Educational Trust do a lot of fundraising on the programme’s behalf as well as the university’s investment.

Another factor is the minimum entry requirements and how high the CAO points are for the courses on offer are in a university or college. Certain universities will offer higher points courses, while colleges like DIT, NCI and DCU offer a wide range of courses lower in points then other places.

“You aren’t necessarily going to get students who will qualify for a grant who’d be from a low income household getting into those universities because they, on research,will show students from low income don’t tend to go into courses at that level because of the high points requirement,” Hawkins said.
“We’ve always said that you have to go out and actively seek the people that you want to bring in, if you’re looking for under-represented groups you have to go out and look for them.”

Hannah Kelly

Image Credit: SUSI