RTÉ launch documentary series that follows disadvantaged students in Irish universities

Kasey Leigh Mc Crudden

“My Uni Life” is a five-part series documenting the lives of seven students from under-represented backgrounds as they face the different challenges that accompany starting university.

The show was filmed over the course of twelve months, and will air for five weeks, starting November 6th at 7:30pm on RTÉ One.

The students at the focus of the programme are all linked by one common theme: their journey through third level education is facilitated and supported by the Access and Disability programmes run by Irish University Association (IUA) Universities.

It follows the students as they overcome personal struggles, as well as adjusting to the many changes brought to university learning by the current Covid-19 situation.

“I hope that my input will show others from a similar background to me, that no matter what you did previously, or what age you are, attending university and doing really well both personally and academically is a realistically achievable goal,” said Meath native Cathal Blake, who features in the documentary as a mature student studying at DCU.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of DCU Access, which is the oldest and largest Higher Education Access Programme in Ireland.

Over 3,000 students have been supported by the programme since the college first opened in 1990.

“In DCU, we are fortunate as access and widening participation is part of the university’s DNA. Access students were part of the very first cohort of students who entered this new university in 1990,” said Cathy Mc Loughlin, Head of Access Service DCU.

“We encourage those who believe they do not have the ability or they will not fit in, to realise that a University is a community of people from different backgrounds-there is no right or wrong person,” she said in a statement.

Kasey Leigh McCrudden

Image credit: DCU Instagram