Ms Cliona Hannon

Director of the Trinity Access Programmes of Trinity College Dublin


Cliona Hannon, B.A. (Trinity College, Dublin 1992), M.A. (Higher Education and Training Awards Council, 1998), M.B.A. (Open University, 2013), is Director of the Trinity Access Programmes in Trinity College Dublin, a role which involves the development and implementation of strategic priorities relating to widening participation and lifelong learning. A graduate of Trinity College, Cliona worked in a variety of educational and NGO contexts, establishing innovative, collaborative courses before joining Trinity in 1999 to set up an innovative, year-long academic preparation course for young adults from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Cliona has organized a range of international conferences relating to educational inclusion, developed course curricula and written articles on housing and educational policy. Since Cliona joined the university, Trinity’s work in widening participation has expanded enormously and now comprises a continuum of programs for primary school pupils right through to post-graduation, engaging socio-economically under-represented groups, adult learners and students with intellectual disabilities, and involving transformative educational processes through the use of new technologies.  In 2011, 16% of Trinity’s first-year intake was from areas of Dublin with the lowest progression rates to higher education and 18% of the undergraduate cohort was made up of these students and students with a disability. Trinity has truly been transformed from an elite and traditional campus into a more open and diverse one.