The disability route to access education (DARE) and Higher education access route (HEAR schemes have reported an increase in applicants accepting University offers for the year 2020.  The DARE scheme saw an increase in 22% of applicants, whereas the HEAR scheme received an uptake of 15% in applicants.

The figures are a comparison to the 2019 statistics from both DARE and HEAR. The statistics released also show there was an uptake in eligibility for applicants to the schemes, with 28% increase in the number of offers to applicants who can access DARE. There was also a 14% increase in the number of offers to applicants who were eligible for HEAR.

Colm Downes, Access Manager at the Irish Universities Association said, “Considering the influence that COVID-19 had on Leaving Certificate students in 2020, we are delighted to have been able to substantially increase the number of DARE and HEAR applicants accepting reduced points offers for Higher Education this year. With these schemes now available at 25 HEIs (Higher Education Institutions), we are seeing a positive impact right across the country”.

Since the schemes went national in 2010, they have grown from 8 participating HEIs to 25. Over those 10 years, the number of applicants has grown from 1836 applicants to 5642 for DARE and 4229 to 6555 for HEAR. Each HEI reserves a minimum of 5% of its places for reduced points offers for each of DARE and HEAR. Developed by the HEIs, the schemes are run in partnership with the CAO.

Luke Murphy, Co-Editor