Trinity students receive 1916 Bursary in GPO
Posted on: 18 April 2018
Eight “Leaders and Learners” were awarded 1916 Bursaries to study at Trinity in a special ceremony at the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre, inside the GPO, earlier this week.
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.
Bursary applicants were asked to outline their aspirations for the future, identify the financial and social impediments that stood in their way, and give examples of how they had already shown leadership in their homes, schools or communities.
One of the successful applicants said: “I am hugely honoured and privileged to be awarded this prestigious scholarship. It really means the world to me. This bursary will relieve my family of heavy financial strain and help my dreams to come true – to become a nursing professional.”
Another happy recipient added: “I feel very lucky to be awarded this bursary. It has changed and will change my college experience. No longer do I need to worry so much about finances. Instead, I can concentrate on my coursework more effectively. This is a great thing for me and my daughter.”
In her address, the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, said: “These 1916 bursaries are a fitting tribute to the educational vision of those who fought for Irish independence. It is apt that they are being launched here in the GPO. The leaders of the Rising were also learners with a range of qualifications: nurses, teachers, accountants, soldiers and sculptors. Their education contributed to their involvement in the Rising and their vision of a new Ireland of equal rights and opportunities. A century on, we are still striving to make this vision a reality, and these bursaries show the commitment of our colleges to greater equity in education.”
On the same day as the 1916 Bursaries were announced, the Trinity Student Managed Fund society kindly donated €3000 they had raised to the Trinity Access Programmes (TAP), which support people from areas with low progression rates to higher education to reach their full educational potential.
Programmes Manager, TAP, Kathleen O’Toole-Brennan, said: “Research shows that low-income students are unable to rely on financial contributions from their parents or guardians and are more likely to undertake part-time work, which can have a deleterious impact on their studies and student life. The scholarships and bursaries provided through the generous support of corporate, philanthropic and state sponsors makes a crucial difference in the lives of our students, many of whom are overcoming significant personal and financial obstacles to attend college.”
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