first_imgDeputy Pearse Doherty has called on education authorities to do more for students from border areas in order to provide equal access to third level education.Pearse Doherty TDDeputy Doherty made the comments as hundreds of students from across Donegal and other border areas remain ineligible for admission to third level institutes via the HEAR Programme; the third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.The Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Finance said the Hear Programme gives students who come from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds – a group which traditionally is underrepresented at third level – the chance to benefit from higher education by offering college places on a reduced points quota. “However, while the programme is of huge benefit to the thousands of students from across Ireland whom participate in the scheme each year, the programme is unavailable to the many students in border areas who reside in the South and receive their schooling in the six counties because the programme does not recognise A Level Examinations.”“I have raised the matter with the Minister twice now and she has informed me that access to third level rests exclusively with colleges and universities and she has stated that she has no intention of intervening in college admissions – this is simply unbelievable.”“While I understand that Third Level Institutions are self-regulated, the Minister has a responsibility to promote equal access to education; I cannot understand how a huge section of Irish society – one which is already largely underrepresented in higher education as things stand – can simply be ignored and forgotten like this.”He added that in an effort to resolve this scandalous inequity, he has written to the various institutions which participate in the HEAR Programme asking that they give this matter their urgent attention so that students from border regions are no longer discriminated against in the sector. “Additionally, I have also written to the Higher Education Authority in relation to this issue and I have since received a response from the body in which it states that it is currently following up on this matter with the HEAR Unit within the Irish Universities Association and the HEA has said that it will keep me updated regarding this matter also.”“I feel that this situation is grossly unfair to the many A Level students, many of whom live in Donegal, as it is widely felt that they are being denied equal access to education simply because of where they reside.”“Naturally, I hope that through these lobbying efforts this matter can ultimately be resolved and that students here can be treated with the fairness and equality which they rightly deserve.”‘STUDENTS FROM BORDER AREAS DESERVE EQUAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION’ – DOHERTY was last modified: March 17th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more