Ten ‘Learners and Leaders’ were awarded 1916 Bursaries to study at Trinity in a special ceremony recently which also saw the launch of a new initiative to establish Dublin as a Learning City, as defined by UNESCO.
The bursary scheme, funded by the DES/HEA under the Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH) Fund and initiated to support access to higher education for under-represented students, is aimed at increasing diversity in higher education.
The recipients, termed “Leaders and Learners” in recognition of the strong focus on education and equality taken by the leaders of the 1916 Rising, were selected from under-represented communities and first-generation entrants to college. This demographic includes lone parents, students with disabilities, Irish Travellers, members of other ethnic minorities, and refugees and asylum seekers.
A total of 40 bursaries were handed to students from a consortium comprising Trinity, Marino Institute of Education, the National College of Art and Design, the Institute of Art, Design and Technology and UCD have come together to support the 1916 Bursary Fund. The recipients join a growing body of students already receiving supports through access programmes of the participating colleges.
The bursaries were awarded at the launch of an initiative to establish Dublin as a Learning City. Launched by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, and supported by the Office of the Lord Mayor and Dublin City Council, the initiative is being spearheaded by universities, including Trinity and other third-level colleges in the city, with the focus on tackling educational disadvantage and encouraging lifelong learning to underpin social and economic development. The project will feature a number of programmes, culminating in a week-long Learning Festival.
UNESCO defines a learning city as a city that effectively mobilises its resources in every sector to promote inclusive learning from basic to higher education, revitalises learning in families and communities, facilitates learning for and in the workplace, extends the use of modern technologies and enhances quality and excellence in learning. In doing so, the city enhances individual empowerment and social inclusion, economic development and cultural prosperity, and sustainable development.
Associate Professor of Genetics and Neuroscience, Kevin Mitchell said: “We are delighted to help congratulate the recipients of the 1916 Bursary Awards and welcome ten of them to Trinity College. These awards are a very welcome initiative to help increase access to third level education to students from diverse backgrounds. They are part of Trinity’s ongoing wider efforts to ensure that our student body reflects the diversity of modern Ireland and that that representation is visible, through related initiatives such as the Community Mentoring scheme.”