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Cothrom na Feinne Scholarships

Levelling the Playing Field: UCD Cothrom Na Féinne Scholarship Programme

Cothrom na Féinne, meaning justice and equality, is the overarching brand for UCD scholarships for access students and  is now Ireland’s largest access scholarship scheme at undergraduate level. These scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate motivation to pursue higher education, and offer leadership in their communities while overcoming significant socio-economic and educational barriers.

  Data showing scholarhsip numbers over four years. 245 in 207-18 to 427 in 2020-21

Each year our scholarship numbers grow with the support of our colleagues in UCD Foundation. In 2020-21 427 access students were in receipt of UCD Cothrom na Féinne scholarships - a 74.3% increase in four years. In addition to the numbers above 34 UCD access students have been awarded 1916 ‘Leaders and Learners’ Bursaries in the past four years, funded by the HEA’s Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH).

This year we are delighted to share developments on the graduate scholarships with the UCD College of Social Science and Law and the Huawei TECH4ER scholarships. UCD is a University for All, where access and inclusion is everyone’s business, the approach of the College of Social Sciences and Law is a practical demonstration of this principle. They have committed to supporting up to 15 scholarships for taught masters programmes in their college.  This year 13 Access students were successful in securing these valued scholarships.  Priority is given to students who were supported by an access programme for their undergraduate programme. 

The second development is the Huawei TECH4HER scholarship. Huawei has committed €30,000 to support these innovative scholarships. It is a clear commitment to support female access scholars who demonstrate motivation to pursue higher education despite educational challenges faced. These scholars demonstrate leadership to others experiencing similar challenges to pursue third-level education in particular they act as role models in STEM programmes. Three access students have been awarded the Huawei scholarship: two at undergraduate and one at Masters level, all for the duration of their studies. 

The impact of these scholarships can be transformational for our awardees. Recently CJ Clarke, a student of the MSc Data and Computational Science, ALL Access Leader and scholarship awardee told us: “I am so happy to have been awarded the Huawei Tech4Her Scholarship. This scholarship is an exciting opportunity, as it has provided me with the financial support to cover the cost of my Master’s degree. The fact that this scholarship exists shows that we are heading in the right direction in terms of increasing female participation in STEM roles, as the women-only candidacy encourages women to apply for the scholarship, knowing that we will get a fair shot at winning it, not being affected by the sheer number of male STEM students”.

Financial support for students is vital to level the playing field. Having widened access for many under-represented groups, UCD is committed to ensuring that sufficient supports are available to alleviate financial challenges for as many students as possible. This work would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our colleagues in UCD Foundation and the many private donors and businesses who support the Cothrom na Féinne scholarship programme. 

University for All

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: UniversityforAll@ucd.ie