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Equal Access Survey


Equal Access Survey of Entrants to Higher Education

Subject Keywords: Education, Equal access, Equality, Disability, Ethnicity, Socio - economic factor
Catalogue: Data
Primary Data Sources
Type: Data
Region: Republic of Ireland

Each year, as part of the student registration process, 28 publicly funded institutions gather information through an ‘Equal Access Survey’ on the socio-economic, disability and ethnic/cultural background of students entering full-time undergraduate programmes of higher education. The information sought is aligned with the same categories of information gathered in the National Census. The objective is to provide a measure of how people with a disability, of different ages, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds are participating in higher education, relative to the wider population in those groups. The data are also key to the allocation of public funding for higher education access programmes and student support. Data protection requirements apply and response to the survey is not mandatory.

Key Variables Labour Force Status; Occupation; Disability; Race/Ethnicity
Themes Education; Financial/Economic; Health; Demographics
Unit Of Observation In 2010/2011, full-time undergraduate new entrants to 28 higher education institutions (7 universities, 14 institutes of technology, 6 other HEA-funded institutions and the National College of Ireland).
Frequency Data are collected annually as part of the student registration process of each higher education institution (September-October).
Target Population Target population: All full-time undergraduate new entrants who register in participating institutions. Sample size: For the 2010/2011 academic year: 39,801 full-time undergraduate entrants to higher education. Response rate: 87%
Method Survey conducted as part of student registration process each year by each higher education institution. Data are returned as part of the annual student statistical return by each institution in the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
Internationally Comparable Studies EUROSTAT data, e.g. Euro student survey OECD analysis, e.g. Education at a glance



Rights: © Government of Ireland
Suggested citation:

Equal Access Survey of Entrants to Higher Education. (2011) Equal Access Survey [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 15th November 2019].


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