UCD Champions “Opening Doors” Alumni Fund


Did you know that if you attended secondary school in Dublin 6 today, you would have a 99% probability of going on to 3rd level education?*

The decision to go to university would be in your hands. For many young people in Ireland today however, going to university is simply not an option. In DEIS** school areas throughout Ireland, only 12% of students progress to third level. That’s on average: for many schools the number is even lower.

We want to change this so that young people like Kate Farrelly (above) – the first in her family to attend third level and the only student from her year to attend UCD – have the opportunity that their talent demands. 


Kate shared her story of how a student scholarship changed her life. Having come to UCD from a DEIS school, she went on to teach at one. Through her success, she has shown other young people with the ability to succeed that doors of opportunity are open to them. 


Difficulties coming from DEIS to UCD
“In my area there are a lot of social issues. Only some go directly to third level. Finances were my biggest worry when I was in sixth year. When my dad passed away, my family were not earning as much. I am the youngest in my family and no one had gone to college."

Being an outsider
“In one of my first tutorials in UCD, I was put in a group and a guy asked me “How is someone like you able to come here?” He had an idea of where in Tallaght I was from and how that could limit my options. There are kids there who have so much potential but they are scared to even attempt to reach it because they don’t want to be seen as ‘different’.”

Getting the same chance as everyone else
“There is a sense in the area that I come from that money is needed more at home than spent on going to university. The scholarship meant I was less anxious coming to UCD, I could concentrate and do well in my classes without worrying about finances.”

Showing others it's possible
“One of the big impacts I have seen from programmes run by UCD Access and Lifelong Learning is that now a lot more kids are motivated to aim higher. The thought of going seemed really exciting for them. Going back to teach in schools like mine and working with these students shows them it’s possible"


Your support will help change a student’s life forever. Will you support our Alumni Fund today by giving a minimum once-off gift of €250 or a monthly gift of €25 to help support a deserving student? 

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*Source: Higher Education Authority (HEA),Consultation Paper Towards the development of a new National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education, 2014 – 2017.

**DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) is a Department of Education and Skills programme, supporting schools in areas of high disadvantage.

All funds raised go towards supporting the student experience through scholarships, library books and other essential student facilities and supports. 0% is spent on administration costs.