Feb 17 2015 Posted: 12:18 GMT

NUI Galway’s School of Education is seeking students to take part in a research study on the university experience of migrant students in Ireland. As one of the first studies of its kind in Ireland, it is important that student’s voices lead the research.

Gaining insight to the university experience of migrant students can contribute to a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities within Irish universities in terms of interculturalism and diversity. Research participants will be asked to share their experience of accessing university and their experience as a third-level student. The objective of the study is to gain insight to the needs of students and influence policy in terms of widening participation to third-level education and promoting diversity and interculturalism on the university campus.

NUI Galway’s School of Education is currently undertaking lead research in the area of integration with an IRC funded project, Diversity Profiling Initial Teacher Education in Ireland (DITE), a study which explores ways of facilitating entry to the teaching profession for under-represented groups. As NUI Galway continues to contribute to the discussion and debate surrounding the issues of diversity and interculturalism in education, it invites Irish and non-Irish citizens enrolled in an Irish university to take part in this research.

Maeve Dunne, NUI Galway PhD student and primary researcher on this study, said: “There is a lot of discussion on the issue of diversity in education, yet very little communication takes place with the students themselves. The main aim of this study is to have student’s voices and opinions heard so that their voice leads the research. This is an opportunity for students to have their say.”

Maeve notes that the research so far has uncovered some sensitive issues: “Speaking with students so far, it’s clear that there are some issues that are being highlighted and addressed. Speaking with these students and hearing an honest account of their experiences is important as nothing can be changed unless the issue is highlighted. Yet, protecting the students’ confidentiality and anonymity is of key importance. The students I have spoken to so far tell me they are hesitant to take part in research. Working with the School of Education and the Ethics committee at NUI Galway, our main aim is to protect students and ensure that their best interests are put first. Contributing your story can help educators, policy makers, researchers and universities work towards improved resources for all students.”

Those interested in contributing to this study, or for more information, can contact Maeve Dunne at m.dunne1@nuigalway.ie

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