UCD Widening Participation
UCD Widening Participation
Dr Caitriona Cunningham is our school representative to UCD’s Widening Participation committee.
She also chairs UCD’s Widening Participation Outreach Network.
The role of the UCD Widening Participation (UWP) Committee is to provide the formal mechanism to oversee, monitor and promote the University’s achievement of a diverse and inclusive scholarly student community, characterised as a ‘University for All’. The UCD Strategy 2020-2024: Rising to the Future anchors the work of UCD's Widening Participation Committee, and it plays a key role in supporting the University to recognise, promote and value diversity, foster the spirit of inclusion, appreciate the breadth of talent, experience and contribution of all students, and strive to remove the barriers to access, participation and success. To learn more about the work of the Widening Participation Committee in UCD please read our annual reports.
The University for All Initiative is sponsored by the Registrar & Deputy President, Professor Mark Rogers, and has a dotted line to Professor Colin Scott, VP, EDI. University for All implementation is overseen by the University Widening Participation Committee, chaired by Professor Grace Mulcahy, and led by UCD Access & Lifelong Learning. Dr Caitriona Cunningham as our Widening Participation Representative is leading our local University for All implementation.
Our school is making strides to enhance access to and inclusion in our programmes. This includes having multiple entry routes to our Bachelors programmes (eg. HEAR, DARE, Mature) with widening participation enrolment targets reviewed on an annual basis.
A Toolkit For Inclusive Higher Education Institutions has been developed by UCD’s ALL Unit to aid in the implementation of University for All.
The Toolkit provides a framework which can:
- ASSIST in creating an action plan
- RECOGNISE the work already achieved
- IDENTIFY areas of priority
- OFFER practical steps to implement and embed inclusive practice
- FACILITATE dialogue between faculty, professional staff, technical staff on the importance of inclusive practice
In addition to staff presentations regarding the toolkit within our school and some staff members completing universal design courses, the SPHPSS hosted its first ‘University for ALL’ Inclusive Toolkit Workshop in March 2021 to facilitate staff to conduct self –assessment with a view to mainstreaming inclusive practices within our school.
‘Inclusion is not an add-on, and it should be at the heart of a university’s mission in achieving excellence in education and scholarship’