SOAR Project National Access Conference – A Great Success!

Over one hundred Access Practitioners and community partners attended our national conference – Access to Higher Education: Emerging Practice and Professional Challenges in a Changing Access Context in UCC on April 23rd & 24th.

The conference facilitated the sharing of new models of practice developed in all regional clusters, exploration of the challenges and opportunities of the National Access Plan 2022-2028 as well as fostering a community of practice and professional development amongst Access Practitioners to enhance Access knowledge and service.

Parallel sessions were focused on the areas of supporting Irish Travellers in Education, developing and enabling transition supports for autistic students and the impact of programmes for those with criminal justice histories.

Keynotes included Muriel Alexander, Development Manager of Scotland’s Community of Access Participation Practitioners (SCAPP), University of Stirling and Dr Louise Callinan, Head of Access Policy, Higher Education Authority (HEA).

SOAR Project Co-Ordinator Sheila McGovern presented a case study on inter-institutional partnership and Dr Rebekah Brennan, postdoctoral researcher, spoke to the research findings and recommendations of the Access Practitioner study, the first study of its kind in Ireland.

Fruitful discussions, glorious weather and networking led to much learning and key takeaways which can bring about change and positive developments in implementation of the National Access Plan 2022 – 2028.

Check out our snapshot video of the event SOAR Project National Access Conference