Widening access to higher education: balancing supply and demand in Ireland

July 12, 2018

Higher Education Funding and Access in International Perspective, Sheila Riddell, Sarah Minty, Elisabet Weedon & Susan Whittaker (eds.), 2018, chapter 7, pp. 121-142

This chapter describes the nature of higher education funding and student support in the Republic of Ireland. Ireland represents an interesting case-study because of the abolition of student fees in the mid-1990s and the way in which the current crisis in higher education (HE) funding has prompted debate about the appropriate way to fund the sector. The chapter begins by providing a brief outline of the structure of Irish HE and the funding regime before examining HE admissions processes and the kinds of supports available to students. The chapter concludes by looking at trends in participation and the current debate about the future direction of funding.