This year Maynooth University celebrates the silver jubilee of MAP!  

The Maynooth University Access Programme (MAP) was established in 1998-99 to improve participation in higher education at Maynooth University. In the 25 years since, MAP has shaped the University by introducing alternative pathways, reaching into schools and communities to raise aspirations among target equity groups and providing top class supports for students that increase their retention and progression rates. 

A guiding principle of our work is to provide an equitable experience for all students. We work to achieve this by identifying the obstacles and barriers for students to successfully enter, transition to and complete university. We develop and incubate supports which equip students with the skills needed for success and where practicable we mainstream these supports across campus. 

MAP has expanded from 1 staff member in 1998-99 to a team of 27 MAP staff members and 3 associated staff in 2023-24 and has achieved national recognition as a leader in effective practice and policy. 

A number of key activities are taking place to mark the milestone and to explore the impact that 25 years of widening participation at Maynooth University has had, on the diversity of the instutiton, on students and staff, and on national policy developments and direction.


See how MAP is marking this anniversary with a range of events and activities. 
Donate to MAP 
We would love your support to fund scholarships and experiences for talented students who need your help. 
These are the stories, memories and advice from some of the successful alumni who were supported by MAP during their time at Maynooth. 
Staff Profiles 
So many amazing people have previously worked at MAP as well as the current MAP staff who provide advice and support for students. 
To mark the milestone of the 25th anniversary, MAP has commissioned research into the impact of MAP and widening participation. 
To find out more about our journey to 25 years, and how MAP has shaped the university, you can see our timeline here. 


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MAP 25th Anniversary Research Call (deadline 22 September 2023)

The Maynooth University Access Programme (MAP) turns 25 in the academic year 2023-24, with an established national reputation for increasing access to Maynooth University from communities furthest from higher education. MAP has also had an enormous impact on the institutional approach to equality, diversity and inclusion over the years. 

To mark this silver jubilee milestone, we are seeking collaborative research proposals related to this theme before Friday 22 September 2023 by completing this short Research Call proposal form. MAP is working with the Research Development Office to provide funding for small research projects (max €2,500) through the Network & Collaboration Support Fund. The MAP 25th Anniversary planning group is seeking applications that will generate new knowledge with insights from an academic perspective, which may be based on interviews with current/former MAP-supported students and/or the data sets on MAP-supported student cohorts we have available (please contact simon.ahern@mu.ie for details of these).  

The proposed research should showcase the identified theme of widening participation at Maynooth over 25 years. The funding may be used as per the Network & Collaboration ‘small preparatory research grant’ eligible costs including covering costs of consumables, travel, collection of data and may include support for a research assistant supervised by the lead academic. Interdisciplinary research among MU researchers is encouraged.

The review panel will review the proposals and outcomes will be sent back to the lead applicant in early October 2023. Please submit any questions or comments via the form or by email to simon.ahern@mu.ie.

A short Teams call was held by Simon Ahern to cover the theme, process, expectations and the available data.


Notable MAP Graduates

Alpha Ike

Alpha Ike graduated from CSSE 2021 and is undertaking a Masters in Design for Health & Wellbeing at UL

"I took every opportunity to get involved in college life, give back and experience as much as I could. I have just graduated with my Degree in Computer Science and Software Engineering. During my time at MU I took part in an internship with Aer Lingus at Dublin Airport, I was Vice President of the MU Mental Health Society and I won 4 all-Ireland medals with MU Soccer Club and I linked with the Access Office, developed positive relationships with staff and students which enhanced my experience at Maynooth University."

The RTE “My Uni Life” series features Alpha’s uplifting of his journey to university despite personal challenges. Alpha represents thousands of students whose desire for third level education is facilitated and supported by the Access and Disability programmes.

Kristy Dooley

Graduated 2020, Masters LLM & 2019 LLB Bachelor of Law

"I was a mentor in Mercy Secondary School Inchicore so I always had a passion to give back and encourage others to fight the low expectations placed on them and to see third level as a realistic option.

Becoming a MAP Ambassador enabled me to reach more young people in a wider area/different schools with the key message - go for it, you can do it. I took any platform offered to me by MAP to speak and encourage others to believe in themselves and go for it, take every opportunity you are offered, university is for anyone and there are no limits, just give it a go!"

Emma Brooker

BA, 3rd Year

"I am Emma and I am a MAP student. I am a 1916 bursary recipient that has flourished in university.

I am heading away to Spain on Erasmus for the third year of my degree. I hope to be a Spanish teacher when I finish my studies. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities made available to me thanks to Maynooth university, their help has been paramount in my path to education."

Dale Lawlor


"I was in the original group of MAP Ambassadors when the programme was launched in 2015. I have been involved in multiple launchpads up to 2018 when I was a coordinator.

I have also supported the MAP Schools Outreach and STEM activities with primary schools (Cell Explorers). As an Alumni Ambassador, I now want to encourage MAP Students to progress to postgraduate study and be a mentor to the current Ambassadors."