Tipperary's Dr Bairbre Fleming is at the forefront of UCD's University for All Week
Deputy Director at UCD Access and Lifelong Learning Centre Dr Bairbre Fleming says there is a path to higher education for everyone in Tipperary no matter what their background.
“We believe that students entering higher education should reflect the diversity of the population. Each year, our Access and Lifelong Learning Centre welcome students from every county in Ireland, including Tipperary," says Clonmel native Dr Fleming.
“We know that for a lot of people, they feel university or higher education simply isn’t an option for them. For any Tipperary people who may not have had a chance to enrol in college following school, for whatever reason, or for those who are considering returning to education, our University for All Week is highlighting the various paths to higher education and the supports our UCD Access and Lifelong Learning Centre provides.
“Yet access isn’t just about getting students in the door to the university, it’s about ensuring they have the same opportunities to succeed when they get here. That’s why access and inclusion need to be at the heart of the university. Our goal is for every student – no matter what their background – is that they feel welcomed, that they belong and that they are valued," Dr Fleming adds.
With 70 years experience improving access and participation, UCD is leading the way in moving inclusion from the margins to the mainstream. Participation rates for undergraduate students from non-traditional backgrounds is nearly 30%, with the aim to increase this to 33% by 2020.
University for All Week programme
The first annual University for All Week is a four-day programme bringing together students, educators and policy makers to reflect on inclusive practices across the higher education sector.
As well as the publication of the Toolkit, highlights from University for All Week include:
The publication of a new toolkit for an inclusive higher education institution.
The launch of student support video created by a group of mature students.
An address by former access student Dr Paula Williams, who is a process engineer at Intel and will share her experience of higher education.
The launch of the inaugural UCD See One Be One Awards.
An exhibition showcasing the range of research, teaching and engagement happening throughout the university.
An address by director of Museum of Literature Ireland Simon O’Connor on widening access to cultural institutions.
The full programme is available at online.