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TUS College4Kids Programme Opens Doors to Higher Education for DEIS Schools

From L to R: Gillian Collins ( Principal, Doonaha National School, Kilkee), Andrew Sharkey ( Deputy Principal, St Senan’s Primary School, Kilrush), Frances O Connell (TUS Vice President, Student Education and Experience), Kieran O’Malley ( Deputy Principal, Scoil Mhainchín, Ennistymon National School), and Eilís Faherty ( Holy Family Senior National School, Ennis)

College4Kids, an initiative established by Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) and its Midwest Access Service is working with DEIS Schools in the region to raise aspirations among pupils to pursue Higher Education when they leave school. 

Working with DEIS schools in Tipperary and Clare, the programme engaged with over 100 students this academic year alone, and saw students visit TUS campuses in Moylish and Thurles. Introducing students to the Higher Education environment, the College4Kids programme raises awareness and supports key areas including access, retention and the progression of pupils from DEIS schools to third-level education.

Placing a large emphasis on introducing both participants and their families to Higher Education, the programme ensures parents and guardians of all students are involved in the initiative to help break down barriers and misconceptions that participants and families may have in relation to third-level education. Parents and guardians are invited to the College4Kids Graduation Ceremonies, celebrating the achievement of all College4Kids participants while also affording the opportunity to visit the campus and meet with staff. 

Anna Murphy, Pre-Entry Access Co-ordinator at TUS said, “We established the TUS College4Kids programme to ensure pupils and families of DEIS schools can access information about progression to Higher Education in an accessible and engaging way. Transitioning to third-level education is a big step for anyone, particularly for students who may be the first in the family to make this transition. Information is key and we are delighted to support pupils and their families, sharing valuable information that will encourage and support them on their educational journey. Official figures are highlighting an increase in Higher Education progression from DEIS schools which is extremely positive, and it’s important that we keep this momentum going. I would like to thank all participating schools for their support and partnership and we look forward to inspiring many more students.”

To raise awareness of educational options for young people and their families, participating students in the College4Kids programme were introduced to a range of activities including Medical Technology and Environmental Studies, Mechanical Engineering, Design, Music and Film, Marketing, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.

For further information on the College4Kids programme and primary-level entry initiatives at TUS, click here