The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has launched the first profile of students with a disability in higher education in Ireland. This profile compiles data from the last three academic years.
This report provides a first glance at the profile of students who report a disability in Irish higher education institutions. Understanding the profile of students with a disability is pivotal – to provide robust data and evidence, to improve equity of access and to promote accessibility to third-level education for all. This report will assist the HEA to progress targeted interventions, as outlined in the National Access Plan 2022-2028.
Data from this report comes from the Equal Access Survey, a voluntary survey disseminated to first year students in HEA-funded institutions
The main findings in the report are:
>> Almost 3 in 4 full-time undergraduate new entrants respond to the Equal Access Survey
>> 18% of respondents state they have a disability
>> The most common disability amongst new entrants is Learning Conditions (37.0%), followed by Psychological / Emotional Conditions (31.2%)
>> Those with Learning Conditions are 53.9% male, whereas in all other categories women outnumber men
>> There are higher rates of mature students amongst those with Multiple Conditions (13.7%) and Physical Conditions (11.2%)
>> Wicklow has the highest rate of new entrants with a disability, at 23.1%
>> Those with a Physical Condition are most disadvantaged, with 13.9% coming from disadvantaged areas
>> 3% of new entrants who state they have a disability enter higher education through DARE
>> Arts & Humanities is the most common field of study for new entrants with a disability, as opposed to Business, Administration & Law for students without a disability