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The Evolution of University Access Programmes in Ireland


  • Patricia O’ Reilly

    (Geary Institute, University College Dublin)


The aim of this report is to explore the historical development of third level access programmes in Ireland, that is, programmes aimed at improving access to third level education by the socio-economically disadvantaged. One key objective is to locate the UCD higher education access programme – New ERA – within the context of developments in national policy and access initiatives in Ireland. The report also presents a brief overview of previous evaluations of targeted initiatives in Ireland as well as barriers to Higher Education as outlined by Lynch & O Riordan’s 1996 study which provided the framework for the development of New ERA. Section 2 provides a definition of ‘access’ and ‘disadvantage’. Section 3 discusses the development of relevant policy on access to higher education. Section 4 examines previous evaluations of targeted initiatives. Section 5 describes the evolution of New ERA and section 6 places the New ERA programme in the context of tackling barriers to access as outlined by Lynch & O’Riordan. Section 7 focuses on current and possible future developments in the New ERA access programme and finally section 8 concludes.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia O’ Reilly, 2008. "The Evolution of University Access Programmes in Ireland," Working Papers 200816, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200816

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    8. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
    9. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
    10. Armin Falk & Markus Knell, 2004. "Choosing the Joneses: Endogenous Goals and Reference Standards," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 417-435, October.
    11. Lowenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1991. "Negative Time Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 347-352, May.
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