NUI Galway’s Access Programme Celebrates 20 Years

Mar 19 2019 Posted: 11:05 GMT

Access Office are calling on past students and graduates to participate in Alumni Working Group

NUI Galway’s Access Office will celebrate 20 years of the Access Programmes in May and are calling on all past students, graduates, staff and tutors to who would like to take part in the celebrations to participate in an Alumni Working Group.

The primary focus for the celebrations will be to acknowledge the impact of the programme on individuals, families and community, including the University community. Celebratory events will include the publication and official launch ceremony of a souvenir journal, celebrating twenty years of memories from ‘Access’ students, a university forum and an alumni event for past students, tutors and staff.

NUI Galway’s Access Programmes commenced in 1999 with the delivery of the first pilot ‘Access Course for School Leavers’. Since then, thousands of students have been supported and enabled to successfully progress into higher education on completing the University’s Access Course. NUI Galway is committed to promoting wider and more equitable access to higher education, especially within its regional vicinity. The programmes provide educational opportunities and professional services to students from under-represented, disadvantaged and minority groups, mature students and students with disabilities. The Access Programmes create conditions which support engagement, performance and progression for non-traditional students throughout their university experience and into employment.

Imelda Byrne, Head of Access Programmes at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone; all of us on the Access Programmes team have had the privilege over two decades to meet wonderful individuals and their families who, in spite of very challenging and constraining previous life circumstances and experiences have higher education, successfully   participated, graduated and progressed to employment. Access now wishes to honour you and your achievements; we are encouraging all of our alumni to join the Access Alumni group and look forward to working with you all as we celebrate our anniversary and work towards the next twenty years.”

The Access Alumni will be involved in the production of the celebratory souvenir journal, an oral archive and the development of a new mentoring system to support access undergraduate students at NUI Galway and with Access Mentoring projects in a community setting.

The next Access Alumni meeting will take place on Tuesday, 2 April at 7pm. Those interested in becoming an Access Alumni member can get more information at, email or visit the Facebook page at


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