Digital learning

An important ingredient in equity of access to university


  • Lorraine Delaney
  • Margaret Farren



graduates, university, distance, access, online


Many countries have policies to improve the equality of opportunities afforded by higher education; to enable people from a wider range of backgrounds to benefit. In recent decades, Ireland has experienced a dramatic expansion in higher education (HE) participation. However, research indicates that certain groups continue to be under-represented; namely those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Additionally, when working class students do participate in higher education they don't necessarily complete honours degree programmes. The possibility of economic mobility provided by lower level courses is often slight as they tend to have a low value in the labour market. Furthermore, costs associated with travelling, or having to live away from home while studying, present a significant barrier to accessing full-time HE for many working class students. Based on a case study of 268 distance graduates from Dublin City University (DCU) Ireland, this paper argues that without digital higher education provision, significant progress in widening participation is improbable.






ASCILITE Conference - Concise Papers