A new Student Emergency Fund has been launched by DCU for the benefit of students facing financial hardship due to Covid-19.
BT Ireland has partnered with DCU to match the first €25,000 donated to the fund. This means that DCU friends and alumni who support this appeal will see their gift doubled.
The Emergency Fund has been established by DCU Educational Trust, the University’s registered charity, and will enable DCU to continue to support students across four priority areas:
- Maintaining Access Scholarships for over 1,100 students and responding to increased demand expected next year due to record high levels of unemployment;
- Providing emergency and once-off support to students in serious financial difficulty due to Covid-19;
- Providing technology to ensure that students can pursue much of their learning online, as all universities face a prolonged period of social distancing and substantial delivery of courses online;
- Providing mental health support for vulnerable students.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, DCU has seen a 183% increase in students seeking help from the Student Assistance Fund, compared with the same period last year. The University also faces significant challenges to maintain the provision of privately funded scholarships for over 1,100 Access students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, as many scholarship supporters are feeling the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Prof Brian MacCraith spoke about DCU’s commitment to supporting students at this time:
“At DCU, we have a proud tradition of supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to fulfill their potential in life.
“We established Ireland’s first University Access programme in 1990, and we have continued to deliver the largest programme nationally for 30 years now, enabling almost 4,000 Access students to pursue their dream of third-level education at DCU.
“We know that this crisis is creating significant difficulties for our Access students, and many other students too, but we are determined that no student should feel unable to pursue or complete their higher education at DCU due to financial hardship caused by Covid-19.”
Joe Quinsey highlighted the importance of BT Ireland’s support:
“This fund is an important response to the financial plight of students who have seen family incomes decimated, and who have lost the part-time and summer work they rely on to save for next year’s college expenses. We are extremely grateful to BT Ireland for their support for vulnerable students in these challenging times. We hope that their commitment to match the first €25,000 donated will encourage many more DCU friends and alumni to get behind this fund too.”
Shay Walsh spoke about BT Ireland’s motivation to support the fund:
“For over 20 years, investment in education has been a strategic priority for BT in Ireland, and our educational initiatives provide a platform to help people reach their potential. By contributing to DCU’s Covid-19 Student Emergency Fund, we can remove financial barriers and help more students to overcome social disadvantage and have a brighter future.”
Friends and alumni who wish to donate to the DCU Covid-19 Student Emergency Fund – please go to www.dcu.ie/covidappeal