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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.39
Liaison Maria Kirrane
Submission Date July 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.13 / 4.00 John O'Halloran
Deputy President and Registrar
Office of the Deputy President and Registrar
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

The HEAR programme, administered by the UCC PLUS office, is an entry route for socio-economically disadvantaged students that provides academic and personal supports. The programme also provides financial aid by providing bursaries to these students to minimise the cost of living whilst attending university. This bursary is provided for all years of their degree study. Students who do not enter through this route can apply and receive financial aid through a hardship fund for low income households that helps to alleviate the living costs associated with attending university. There is also a national government scheme that supports students from low income households and a national access plan to widen participation for non-traditional cohorts.


A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

The university has a director of equality, diversity and inclusion whose specific remit is to establish and promote policies and practices to support non-traditional students though the continuum of their studies and community engagement to promote students to study in the university. Much work is undertaken on specific programmes that deal with these issues and accreditation is often sought for these programmes to ensure they meet international best practice.


A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

The HEAR programme have a dedicated suite of events, programmes and initiatives that is specifically targeted at potential students from low income backgrounds. These activities span both primary and secondary schooling. These include school visits, campus activities (such as taster programmes, academic programmes) and mentoring supports to enable the recruitment of students from low income backgrounds. There are dedicated personnel to run these activities and parental and family involvement are key to the delivery. There is also extensive community and network engagement.

The HEAR programmes provides extensive supports to students who are part of the programme through the provision of dedicated support officers. There is a dedicated residential orientation programme provided. This is then followed by regular one to one meetings with students to provide pastoral, advocacy, personal and academic support and this is available for the duration of their degree. There are also numerous workshops and study skills provided to students.


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

While there are no specific scholarships for low income students, the bursaries provided to students serve the same purpose and these are available to all students who come through the HEAR entry route for the duration of their degree.


A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

The HEAR entry route is a supplementary entry route that works in conjunction with the national college application process. It specifically targets students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and when identified and verified, the students are offered the opportunity to compete for places on all courses in the university on reduced entry requirements. The university has a quota for such students and this entry route is a national scheme.

The HEAR programme have a dedicated suite of events, programmes and initiatives that is specifically targeted at potential students from low income backgrounds. These activities span both primary and secondary schooling. These include school visits, campus activities (such as taster programmes, academic programmes) and mentoring supports to enable the recruitment of students from low income backgrounds. There are dedicated personnel to run these activities and parental and family involvement are key to the delivery.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

The university across all services and academic units has a commitment to inclusion and diversity. This is manifested through policies and procedures that reflect this commitment. There is a general ethos that financial issues by themselves should not be a barrier to entry, progression or success and a student centric approach is undertaken. There is a range of supports available to students who are experiencing affordability issues through advocacy, advice and structured payment options. The national government provides a wide range of supports to low income students attending university through full or partial fees subsidy and monthly maintenance payments to help with living costs.


Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

No specific scholarships for part time students.


A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

The University has an on-site childcare facility. Through the Students Union, subsidies and financial support are available to students from low income backgrounds and priority in the crèche is given to students with childcare needs.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

The University has an embracing policy to support non-traditional students. There are specific entry routes for low income, disability, mature entry (over 23), second chance students (QQI) and refugees. There are support programmes in place to promote entry, facilitate the transition and support students through their university journey. The university presently has a 26% intake into undergraduate degrees from non-traditional backgrounds.

The university also has a director of equality, diversity and inclusion whose specific remit is to establish and promote policies and practices to support non-traditional students though the continuum of their studies and community engagement to promote students to study in the university.


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):
Yes

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):
30

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
23.30

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):
60

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):
---

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Note - graduation rate is a snapshot of one year i.e. the % of low-income students that graduate out of the total number of students. This is likely a significant underestimation. Longitudinal data will be available for the next submission.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.