Tackling Educational Disadvantage at Trinity College

Posted on: 12 June 2006

Trinity Access Programme Summer School 10th Anniversary, June 12-16th 2006

The Trinity Access Programme (TAP) hosted its 10th annual Take the Lead Summer School on June 12-16  for students in TAP-linked schools which are designated as disadvantaged by the Department of Education and Science. For the first time, this year’s summer school also included an international dimension with a group of American students from a similar programme to TAP in the US participating.

The Take the Lead TAP Summer School’s core aim is to develop the skills of leadership and social responsibility. The theme of this year’s Summer School was ‘Active Citizenship in the 21st Century’ and its objective was to develop the students’ critical and analytical skills regarding issues affecting their own lives as well as the lives of people across the globe.

TAP has added a new international dimension to the programme with the support of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation which recently added access programmes to its range of philanthropic activities with a new initiative, ‘University Access Programs; Creating Opportunities for Talent’. During the week, 70 students from 20 TAP-linked schools and five students from the Next Generation Venture Fund in John Hopkins University, Baltimore MD, participated in activities in Trinity College. The activities were aimed at exposing the students to all the benefits of third level education: academic, social and cultural.

The Summer School is organised by TAP with assistance from over twenty academic departments in Trinity College. The students work in four working groups for the week: photography, drama, website design and creative writing on the theme of ‘Active Citizenship’. This year, students worked to produce items they could showcase at a closing ceremony for the Summer School, on Friday, June 16th at 2pm, Joly Lecture Theatre, Hamilton Building. Students were also involved in a range of adventure activities, an ‘Around the World Languages Fair’ and contributed to an afternoon’s debate, facilitated by Suas Educational Development (an organisation which facilitates young people to address educational disadvantage).

The Trinity Access Programmes was established in 1993 as part of Trinity College’s contribution towards tackling educational disadvantage. The programmes involve 4,000 students in on-campus events each year. TAP is linked to 39 primary and second level schools and it aims to increase the number of students from lower income groups staying in school and proceeding to third level. (www.tcd.ie/ Trinity_Access)