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New Chair of the Widening Participation Committee

Following two extremely influential terms as Chair of the Widening Participation Committee, Professor Grace Mulcahy has passed the baton on to Professor John Brannigan. Professor Mulcahy's six years at the helm saw the adoption of the University for All initiative into the UCD Strategy 2020-2024 as well as the introduction of quotas and targets for Access students for undergraduate programmes. During her tenure, UCD has seen an 6.9% increase of Access Students year on year from 2016 from 28.6 - 34.6% or an increase of 1244 students. We thank Grace for her tireless efforts and for her leadership as a champion of widening participation in the University.

Taking the reins, Professor John Brannigan is Professor of English, and Head of the School of English, Drama and Film, UCD. At the first meeting of the academic year, Professor Brannigan identified key priorities for for the Committee over the next three years which can be grouped under the following four areas:

  • Access Student Support: ensuring and supporting access students to have equal opportunities to graduate study, outward mobility and accommodation.
  • Widening Participation Data: Advocating for KPIs at the University level to go beyond simply measuring the diversity of the student body to include both quantitative and qualitative measures of how Access students experience university – for example, experience of low-income students, mature learners, etc.
  • Universal Design: continued rollout of best practice UDL to create inclusive learning environments across the University.
  • Communications: further increasing the visibility of University for All to current and potential students, promotion of practical supports so students feel welcome.

On his appointment, Professor Brannigan has this to say: 'I am very honoured to be asked to chair the University Widening Participation Committee, and look forward to working with colleagues across the University to build on our achievements and fulfil our mission to make UCD a welcoming and inclusive University for All'.

Picture of the members of the Widening Participation Committee sitting and standing

University for All

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: UniversityforAll@ucd.ie