Trinity aiming to attract poorer students
Trinity is set to amend its admissions process in order to draw more students from disadvantaged backgrounds into the College.
Fair play – it only took 420 years for them to think of bringing the working class into its hallowed halls for a reason other than to sweep them.
According to reports in the Irish Times, incoming provost of the college Prof Patrick Prendergast has said that the current system is unacceptable as it excludes even the brightest of students from poor areas of the country.
He added that the college would have to “move the admissions criteria beyond a purely CAO [Central Applications Office] points-based systems”.
The Professor said Trinity could adopt a system used in Texas in the US where the top 5 per cent of students in all state schools are automatically given places in the top university.
He added that personal interviews could also be used as part of a revamped application process.
He continued, “We need to reflect on this situation… that’s not the kind of society we want, where young ambitious pupils are locked out of university.”
Only a handful of Leaving Cert students from State-run inner-city schools get to go on to study in Trinity at present.
Prendergast added that TCD would have to take “a lead role in reviewing the current admissions systems. We must ensure that our admission procedures are fair to all groups in society.”
He also tackled the thorny issue of fees. He pointed out that additional charges for students beyond the €2,000 student contribution would be needed if the university system was to be brought up to the standard of the world’s top tier schools.
He added, however, that any new charges would have to be brought in alongside more substantial grants and supports for poorer students.