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Uversity Launches 41 New Scholars & Inter-changes: Scholar Virtual Fora

September 23, 2020 | by Colleen Dube

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Uversity announced the 41 new recipients of its Higher Education Scholarships for Adults at two Inter-changes:  Uversity Scholar Virtual Fora that were held on 14th and 17th September 2020.  The 2020/21 Scholars are commencing Bachelor Degrees at twenty-one different higher education institutions on the island of Ireland.  Profiles of the Scholars can be found here.

On the 14th of September 2020, Uversity Scholars had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their wishes for their educational journeys and receive advice from 2018 Uversity Scholar Patrick Lynch and 2019 Scholar Deborah Forsey.  Uversity’s Board and supporters offered their congratulations and encouragement.

Conor McCabe Photography

In welcoming the 2020/21 Scholars, Uversity’s Interim Chair Brian O’Sullivan remarked,  “We’re really delighted in this difficult year to have found 41 individuals with the drive and the ambition to take the courageous step to change course and attend university having not had that opportunity at an earlier stage. In being selected as a Uversity scholar, you have demonstrated huge potential to be successful in your chosen field of study.  You have a vision for how you can apply your degrees to advance your career.  Covid restrictions will inevitably limit the social interactions that really are an integral part of university life and may present challenges in settling into a new academic life so I would encourage you to feel that you are very much part of a larger Uversity tribe.”

Conor McCabe Photography

Niamh Desmond noted “On behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, I am really excited about the class of 2020 and watching your progress over the next few years.  Listening to each of you speak today I can see that you all have a drive to change your own lives, the lives of your families and to become role models in your own communities. You’re bringing invaluable life experience.  Go in on the first day, whether it’s virtually or in person and recognise that you have a huge amount of value to give to your class.  I don’t underestimate the challenges you face but I’m very confident that you’re all going to be successful.”

On 17th September 2020, a second virtual forum was held for all of Uversity’s 90 Scholars to network in groups facilitated by Uversity staff, Paula Moran and Tim Crawford from Queen’s University Belfast’s Widening Participation Unit and Damian Butler, Clodagh Byrne and Rhona McCormack, Mature Student Officers from University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin and University of Limerick.

Speaking about this year’s Scholarships and virtual events, Uversity’s Chief Executive Officer, Colleen Dube said, “Uversity’s scholarship programme is continuously evolving and adapting.  This year we received close to 650 applications and are astounded by the ambition and determination of the candidates to pursue their Degrees in spite of the challenges posed by COVID.  Uversity is committed to providing our Scholars with financial as well as professional and personal development support.  The virtual fora that we have initiated for our new and existing Scholars will provide an invaluable opportunity to create community and camaraderie in a time of uncertainty.”

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