All studies of participation rates in third-level education show disproportionate numbers of college students come from better off socio-economic groups.
Second level students make decisions about whether or not to go on to college based on school experience, family background, the encourage-ment of teachers, and the expectations of family. As the ESRI study 'From Leaving Certificate to Leaving School' finds, the decision to go on to third-level is the culmination of a much longer term process than guidance programmes.
In that context, it is good to see that over 325 second-level students attended a special Trinity Access Programmes (TAP) Educational Achieve-ment Awards ceremony in Trinity College recently.
The Educational Achieve-ment Awards are given to roughly 90 Junior Cycle and Transition Year students in schools linked to the TAP. The awards recognise their academic excellence and hard work. All of the students have shown outstanding commit-ment and diligence and are being rewarded for the potential they show as future students of Trinity College.
The TAP has developed a continuum of educational projects to engage greater numbers of students from under-represented socio-economic groups in third-level education.
TAP works intensively with 20 primary and a further 20 secondary schools in the inner city and greater Dublin area, promoting academic achievement through campus and school-based activities which encourage students to go to college.
Open days: l Today, Wednesday May 16, Ballsbridge College of Further Education, Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4, is holding an Enrolment Day from 2pm -- 4pm. All are welcome to attend. Enrolments will also be accepted from that date onwards if students are unable to enrol on May 16. The college offers a range of FETAC accredited courses in the area of business studies, event management, auctioneering, criminology, English (EFL), multimedia, marketing, human resource management, media, office systems, applied psychology and international aid and development. In addition, courses are offered in health sector studies, property management, starting your own business, TEFL and business with Chinese. BTEA (Back to Education) places are available. l Kinsale College of Further Education hosts an open day on Saturday next, May 19, from 2pm -- 4pm. Its courses include Art, Drama and Theatre Arts, Caring for the Elderly, Permaculture, Tourism and Travel, Film and TV Production, Hotel and Catering, Multimedia, Business Management and more. l Applicants may be interested to know that Kinsale College has recently established links with Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) for a number of Level 5 & Level 6 courses under the Cork Colleges Progression Scheme (CCPS). The CCPS is a scheme whereby students who successfully complete courses in further education colleges in Cork may be admitted to a number of courses in CIT. CIT reserves a number of places on these linked courses for applicants achieving specified levels and other requirements in their awards. CIT also admits applicants under the general FETAC admissions routes. l Also on Saturday May 19, the Sound Training Centre, Dublin 2, holds an open day from 12 -- 4 pm. l On Sunday May 20, Griffith College hosts a Free Leaving Cert Maths Revision Course in its Dublin campus. Griffith College held Leaving Certificate mathematics revisions days in April in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Several hundred students attended the sessions, travelling from all over Ireland. In order to ensure complete coverage of the Leaving Certificate mathematics syllabus (ordinary level), the College is providing a final revision day (through Irish), next Sunday May 20, in Griffith College, Dublin (South Circular Road Campus). Students attending the programmes will be provided with all the course notes for the topics being covered. Advance booking is essential as places are limited.