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Broadening Educational Access: Building Ireland's Future, One Student at a Time

LtoR: Vicky Kavanagh - 3rd year BA Journalism, Siobhan Moore - President Fingal Chamber of Commerce, and External Communications Manager at Dublin Airport President of DCU - Prof. Brian MacCraith, Raymond Moran - 2nd year Genetics Cell Biology, Larry Quinn - Chairman DCU. Educational Trust and Chairman, Accuris Networks.


On Thursday 12th May, Professor Brian MacCraith, President of Dublin City University welcomed over 60 professionals from across various industry and corporate sectors to a breakfast briefing on "Broadening Educational Access: Building Ireland's Future, One Student at a Time", highlighting DCU's groundbreaking Access Scholarship Programme that celebrates its 21st Anniversary this year.

The DCU Access Scholarship Programme represents Dublin City University's commitment to its founding mission of opening the doors of higher education to those who might not otherwise benefit from the power of education. The DCU Access Programme, initiated in 1990 and was the first of its kind in Ireland, targeting young people who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who are under-represented at universities for socio-economic reasons such as long-term unemployment, little or no family tradition of attending university, pressure to contribute to the family budget, family stresses and lack of study facilities or support at home. The DCU Access Programme is now the largest and most far-reaching programme in the country with over 430 undergraduate students attending DCU from the 26 counties throughout Ireland.

Guests, including prominent business leaders, alumni, national and local government and chamber representatives, heard from Declan Collier, Chief Executive, Dublin Airport Authority, who spoke about the DAA's overall partnership with Dublin City University, including their support of the DCU Access Programme and their strong relationship with the University, highlighting collaborations such as An tSli Glas, Ireland's first clean-tech corridor and the university's recently established Bsc in Aviation Management programme in the DCU Business School.

Ita Tobin, Head of the DCU Access Service reinforced the impact that the Access Programme has had on hundreds of students for whom university education has been made possible before inviting Scholarship Recipients, Raymond Moran, 2nd year BSc Genetics and Cell Biology and Vicky Kavanagh, 3rd year B.A. Journalism student to speak on their journey so far at DCU and the support they have received in enabling them to pursue their educational and professional aspirations. Finally, Chief Executive of the DCU Educational Trust, Patrick McDermott closed the speaker programme informing guests that Access Scholarships are funded entirely by the private support sector, encouraging guests to consider both personal and corporate philanthropy as a tangible way of partnering with the university and demonstrating their belief that all students should have the tools to fulfill their dreams and ambitions.

The morning briefing concluded with a networking reception where guests and students representing the DCU Access Scholarship Programme were afforded the opportunity to informally meet each other.

If you would like to receive further information on the DCU Access Scholarship Programme or wish to attend a future briefing, please contact Orla Holmes, Director of Operations, DCU Educational Trust office at (353) 1-700-5467 or orla.holmes@dcu.ie