This is a submission EPIC made to the Higher Education Authority for their Consultation on the next National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
Submission to the Higher Education Authority
EPIC – Empowering People In Care
June 18th 2021
EPIC (Empowering People in Care) is the only independent organisation in Ireland which works with, and on behalf of, children and young people in care or with care experience. A core part of the work of EPIC is the provision of an individual advocacy and support service for children and young people in care and with care experience. The policy development undertaken by EPIC seeks to make positive change for children and young people in care and with care experience at a systemic level.
EPIC hopes that this submission will contribute to the conversation taking place within the Higher Education Authority, and from EPICs perspective, specifically how children and young people in care or with care experience are able to access higher education, complete courses successfully, and are able to become happy contributing members of society. EPIC welcomes the opportunity to make this written submission. We have limited the paper to the issues that are within the remit and expertise of EPIC.
Education has the power to transform lives, break cycles of poverty and disadvantage. All children and young people should have the necessary supports to ensure that there is equality of opportunity. Ireland has a long history of excellent education, but at higher level it is underrepresented by those from marginalised and disadvantaged backgrounds. Children and young people with care experience require additional supports, from early on in their education, to ensure they can have the opportunity to achieve at higher level, whatever it is they seek to pursue. Their educational and life outcomes should not be hindered because of their care experience, and yet it often is.
more…read the submission document [pdf]