The National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) Access Centre has introduced 170 new full-time places for undergraduate students entering from Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), Further Education and Training (FET), and Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) routes, as reported by the Leitrim Observer.
This will be a 66% increase in the places available to QQI, FET and FETAC applicants compared to the previous year. The new places have been introduced in an effort to make third level education more accessible to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented groups.
NUI Galway has also added places to previously existing undergraduate courses. The number of places in their general science course has risen from 12 to 30 places, and from 20 to 30 for their Bachelor of Arts (BA) course.The new QQI,FET and FETAC places will offer students the opportunity to enter a range of courses, across the Arts and Humanities, and Science faculties.
The increased course places are part of the college’s Vision 2020 project. Launching in 2015, the Vision 2020 initiative aims to bring the percentage of students from disadvantaged groups in third level education up to 24%. The Access Centre in NUI Galway aims for equality in terms of access to third level education, taking particular interest in problems of social exclusion for rural students from the Midlands and the West.
In the 2017/2018 academic year, 60 undergraduate places were available for QQI, FET and FETAC applicants. In September 2017, there were over 150 full-time students registered at NUI Galway across all of its degree programmes who came through the QQI, FET, and FETAC entry routes.
The Vision 2020 programme in NUI Galway is similar to the Trinity Access Programme (TAP), which promotes third level opportunities for students from disadvantaged socio-economic groups and ethnic minorities. Since the programme’s introduction in 1997, 90% of students involved have progressed to complete a degree course in Trinity.