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This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Publication Details

Article published in Level3, Issue 4, August 2006.


The following paper discusses the implications of government policy for widening access and participation in third level institutes. The increase in ‘non-traditional’ students has been widely recognised on an international scale; however, some issues of inequality still exist. The ‘struggles’ associated with widening participation and the creation of a ‘new’ student type are discussed, with particular reference to chemistry education. A change is needed with regard to the pedagogical approach taken by staff in order to cater for a diverse student body comprising a broad range of learner types, and this must be supported both at departmental and institutional levels. Also included is a review of the literature as to what best practice is in supporting the ‘new’ third level student. To conclude I look at what the future may hold for third level institutes catering for this ‘new’ student type.