SVP welcomes this opportunity to engage with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) in the consultation process for the new National Plan for Equity of Access 2022-2026. The Society of St Vincent De Paul (SVP) is the largest charity of social concern in Ireland with over 10,000 members in 1200 local Conferences. The Society’s mission is to provide friendship and support to those experiencing poverty and social exclusion, to promote self- sufficiency and to work for social justice.
In this submission we will include specific issues experienced by the National Action Plan target groups; mature students, lone parents, lone parents who are mature students, students with a disability, students from the Traveller community and students who experience a socio-economic disadvantage. We will also propose recommendations to the current challenges faced by these groups, in accessing, participating, and progressing through the higher education system. It will also highlight the need for a whole of Government approach to tackling the issue of educational disadvantage, it is only then that we will have a higher education system that is fully inclusive of all groups in Irish society.