The Higher Education Authority allocated €1.9m among Higher Education Institutions for the purpose of enabling access services to deliver local COVID responses that support vulnerable students. The funding will be used at Maynooth University to support the National Plan for Equity of Access 2015-2021 objectives of attracting and retaining students from National Access Plan target groups during the COVID-19 period.
This includes entrants from socio-economic groups that have low participation in higher education, first time mature student entrants, students with disabilities, part-time/flexible learners, further education award holders and members of the Irish Traveller and Roma communities.
The funding will be used for the following initiatives:
- The MU Access Programme will provide 2 additional student advisors to support students who have been most impacted by COVID-19.
- The Mathematics Support Centre will provide 10 additional hours of weekly drop-in support by appointment for access students.
- The Centre for Teaching and Learning will develop custom training sessions for the staff who support access students such as educational support workers in relation to using educational technologies. They will also develop custom guides and training for access students in relation to using educational technologies with assistive technologies such as screen-readers.
- The Academic Writing Centre will provide 8 additional hours of weekly one to one support for access students on two evenings per week.
- IT Services will provide 20 additional Computer Assistant hours per week to provide additional student support via telephone and the student chat service (ASK) to assist with technical support queries.
Maynooth University is committed to the retention of students during these challenging times and in addition to these funded supports, additional resources have been provided to Student Services to increase the Counselling Service and the Student Budgeting Advice Service. This Contingency Funding complements the Laptop Loan Scheme and the increase to the Student Assistance Fund which provides funding to students whose participation is at risk due financial difficulties.
For more details on how to access these supports, see the Maynooth University Access Programme website or contact email@example.com.