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Class and third level October 22, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this story carried on RTÉ about an Higher Eduction Authority study which details the socio-economic backgrounds of students attending higher education institutions in Ireland is not he findings which predictably note:

…people who come from wealthier backgrounds are more likely to go to college.
It also finds that students from wealthier backgrounds will immediately go on to earn significantly more than those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Nine months after graduation the average student from an affluent background will be paid around 30% more than one with the same qualification from a disadvantaged background.
The study confirms that students in high-end healthcare courses such as medicine as well as business, finance, and engineering programmes are the most likely to come from affluent backgrounds.

Rather it is is the fact that:

It is the first time the authority has gathered such detailed information, reached by combining student PPS numbers and home addresses with a census geocoding system which measures affluence and deprivation levels in neighbourhoods across the country.

And highly unsurprising is the news that:

…the undergraduate population at the country’s institutes of technology is the most representative.
The former Blanchardstown and Tallaght IT’s, now part of Technological University Dublin, have student bodies most reflective of the overall socio-economic make up of the country.
Letterkenny Institute of Technology caters for a greater proportion of students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds than any other third-level college.

I was an external examiner for a couple of years in one of those institutions as well as another IT elsewhere and I can underscore from personal experience that reality. I’d also argue that this was a strength rather than a weakness with excellent work from those there.

Check this out:

UCC, UCD, and the Royal College of Surgeons all have the lowest proportion of students – 5% – coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Curiously TCD was not included in the study.


1. Michael Carley - October 22, 2019

Last time I saw information on this (last century) UCD had more private school students than TCD probably because TCD had been the de facto North side university.

Liked by 1 person

2. roddy - October 22, 2019

Letterkenny is very similar to its Northern hinterland in this regard.


WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2019

It’s an excellent institute.


3. Jim Monaghan - October 22, 2019

A point or two. think we focus far too much on Third Level. The Germany have a lot of stress on apprenticeship which go up the scale to doctorates. Look at the ads in the German supermarkets. Blended learning etc. Snobbery is driving a white collar thing. Indeed many, if not more, craft workers make more money and have far more job satisifaction than the average graduate.
Second, grade inflation. https://www.thejournal.ie/grade-inflation-irish-third-level-4757371-Aug2019/ Teaching standards have not improved that much.
Third. I am a sceptic about access programmes. I think disadvantage has become embeded by the end of Primary. The numbers formally entering Secondary who lack basic reading and writing skills,, nevermind maths. Ask any secondary teacherWe need a reorinatation of funds to pre school and primary. Class room assistants who can help those who have fallen behind should be a priority. I thjink we should experiment with summer courses for children referred for extra help. Make it attractive, school in morning, sport etc. in afternoon.


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