The Dublin office of DWF is sponsoring the university’s Access Programme, a €20,000 four-year funding package which will support at least five students per year from disadvantaged communities to pursue their dream of higher education at DCU.
Described as a ‘champion of social mobility’, DCU’s impactful Access Programme has been running for over 30 years. The university reserves 10% of all places on its undergraduate courses for Access students, and since 1990 the programme has enabled over 4,200 students to graduate, with 97% of graduates in 2020 achieving a higher honours degree.
DWF has taken its commitment full circle by supporting DCU’s Access to the Workplace Initiative. This offers an Access student a fully paid summer internship at DWF’s offices in central Dublin.
To further its support, DCU’s Educational Trust has received a grant of €3,500 from the DWF Foundation, an independent charity founded by DWF to help communities and individuals achieve their full potential. This grant will be used to fund the practicalities of student life, such as books, laptops, accommodation, and travel costs.
As an advocate of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Eimear Collins, managing partner at DWF in Dublin, said:
“DWF aims to create a working environment and culture where people of different backgrounds are able to contribute at their highest level and where their differences have the widest positive impact for all.
“Our support for DCU is tangible evidence of diversity and inclusion in action. We’re proud to provide the financial backing which will boost and support those who may have believed a university education – and good career options - was beyond them.”
Steven Colgan, a former Access student at DCU who recently joined DWF’s Dublin team as a solicitor, wants to ensure there is greater awareness of the programme and all it offers. He said:
“There are many barriers to a university education – social, financial, and personal. But the Access Programme can be transformational, offering young people the chance to change their path and achieve their potential. It was a game-changer for me, and I hope many more will grasp this amazing opportunity with DCU.”
Recognising DWF’s support, Jason Sherlock, Director of Development, DCU Educational Trust/Cathy McLoughlin, Head of Access Service, DCU added:
“We are truly grateful for DWF’s generous support for DCU’s Access students, which will enable them to focus on and excel in their studies during their time at university. DWF’s participation in our Access to the Workplace Programme also helps us to provide an important additional support that enhances their career prospects and helps to level a playing field where students from disadvantaged areas continue to earn less than students from more affluent areas, even when all other factors are equal after graduation.”
Caption 1: Steven Colgan (c), an Access Programme graduate from DCU who is now working as a solicitor for DWF in its Dublin office. Also pictured (from l-r) are: Cathy McLoughlin, Head of Access Service, DCU, Sinead Ryan, Director, DWF, Jason Sherlock, Director of Development, DCU Educational Trust and Eimear Collins, Managing Partner at DWF in Dublin.