Ireland’s First University-School-Business E-Mentoring Scheme to be Established by TCD

Posted on: 19 December 2005

TCD receives Goldman Sachs Foundation Grant

Ireland’s first university-school-business e-mentoring scheme will be developed as a result of Trinity College receiving a €210,000 grant from the Goldman Sachs Foundation, it was announced today (Monday 19 December). The e-mentoring scheme will use a custom designed software package to match business people with second level students to offer advice and guidance in a range of areas such as work experience, interview skills, learning, studying and developing CVs.

Through the Trinity Access Programme (TAP), the Goldman Sachs Foundation grant will develop pathways to education for students from under-represented backgrounds.  Specifically, this grant will enable the further development of TAP’s range of second-level school initiatives, including e-learning partnerships, e-mentoring and a summer programme.

“This award is a testament to the excellence and innovation of TAP’s work in tackling educational disadvantage and enabling students from disadvantaged backgrounds to overcome barriers and realise their potential,” said Peter Sutherland, Chairman of Goldman Sachs International. 

“For Ireland’s economic success to be sustained, we need to draw on the talent and potential available in every part of our society, making particular efforts on behalf of those individuals and communities at risk of being excluded.  Through programmes like TAP, Trinity College is playing a key role in addressing this challenge, cultivating talent and potential from an early stage and helping to create a culture of learning in communities.  By enabling people to access the benefits and opportunities of a new prosperous Ireland we are not only helping to assure our economic future but we are also doing the right thing for our society and its citizens”, Peter Sutherland continued.

TAP is currently linked to 39 schools in areas of concentrated urban disadvantage for delivery of 30 developmental activities a year, involving about 4,000 students each year, school personnel, community representatives and parents.

The ‘TAP effect’ has been significant in all the schools: increased progression to third level among senior cycle students and attitudinal changes among parents and teachers as to the potential for and benefits associated with continued education.

“TAP is central to the College’s strategy to address key social issues, such as educational disadvantage.  It does this by developing innovative ‘best practice’ programmes which meet the needs of individuals and communities.  Trinity aims to transform the make-up of its student body, making it more inclusive and diverse than ever before. Objectives have been set by the College to ensure that at least 5% of all students attending Trinity are from under-represented and underprivileged sectors of Irish society”, explained the Provost, Dr. John Hegarty.

“We are delighted to be working closely with the Goldman Sachs Foundation. This grant allows us to further develop our second level programmes, and we are working with our link schools, the Hamilton Mathematics Institute, TCD and the School of Histories and Humanities to implement new initiatives.  We are also very excited about potential international opportunities arising from the grant and we are planning to host five students from John Hopkins University in our Take the Lead Summer School next June”, stated Cliona Hannon, Access Officer, TCD. 

The grant to Trinity College is part of The Goldman Sachs Foundation’s University Access Program: Creating Opportunities for Talent initiative, which identifies significant numbers of public secondary school students who have demonstrated academic ability and potential but come from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented at selective colleges; recruits and enrolls them in multi-year, college-preparatory programs that emphasize academic enrichment and the skills need to apply successfully for admission to top colleges; and assesses outcomes to ensure a positive impact on participants including matriculation and academic success once in college. In addition to the award to Trinity College, the Foundation has awarded grants through this initiative to other highly selective universities with programs similar to TAP, including  the University of Chicago, Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.),   Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.), Princeton University, London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Stephanie Bell-Rose, President of The Goldman Sachs Foundation, commented, “This grant to support TAP will help prepare young people to succeed in a complex, interconnected and rapidly evolving world economy.  TAP provides challenging opportunities that emphasize the importance of developing as scholars and leaders.  In this global age, the world is an ever more demanding place, and this grant will help TAP students prepare to compete and lead successfully.”

The Goldman Sachs Foundation is a global philanthropic organization funded by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is to promote excellence and innovation in education and to improve the academic performance and lifelong productivity of young people worldwide. It achieves this mission through a combination of strategic partnerships, grants, loans, private sector investments, and the deployment of professional talent from Goldman Sachs.