A new report from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) examining the socioeconomic background of tens of thousands of Irish third-level students, has found that students from affluent backgrounds dominate the Irish third level scene. Trinity College has the highest proportion of students from affluent areas, at thirty-six per cent and the lowest percentage of students from disadvantaged areas – only 5%. UCD isn’t far behind it with 35% from well-off areas and 5% from poorer areas.
Letterkenny IT has the highest number of students from disadavantaged areas – 25%. This is thought to be largely due to the fact that Co Donegal has some of the country’s poorer electoral areas and many of Letterkenny IT’s students come from the local area.
The findings are based on deprivation index scores , which measure the relative affluence or disadvantage of a person’s home address. The study shows that not only are you far more likely to attend college if you are from an affluent area but you are more likely to study a high-points course. Wealthier students are more likely to study medicine, finance, law and engineering. While people from disadvantaged areas are more likely to study childcare, sport and secretarial studies. Only 4% of the country’s medical students are from poorer areas.