Forty scholarships will be given to new DCU students from Northern Ireland in the next academic year in an effort to strengthen North-South relations, according to DCU president Prof Brian Mac Craith.
As a result of the scholarship, students will be awarded €1,000 while 60 undergraduate places will be made available. So far only 1 per cent of students in the Republic of Ireland are from Northern Ireland.
In the past it’s been difficult for Northern Irish students to attend colleges in the south. Only students who have completed four A-levels can score maximum points, while the majority have only done three. This leaves many below the requirement level of colleges within the ROI.
DCU Chancellor Martin McAleese said: “the introduction of these scholarships represents a real opportunity to create a level playing field for students from Northern Ireland wishing to undertake studies at DCU”.
“Initiatives such a this represent solid stepping stones to enrich north-south relations,” he added.
This could lead to greater co-operation with the north and addresses the imbalance. DCU president said: “We see the announcement of the McAleese scholarships as the natural extension of our efforts to achieve greater cross-border collaboration and will hopefully translate into future benefits extending across both sides of the border.”
Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of three A-levels (2 A’s and 1 B) and there will be ten scholarships per faculty. There will be a limitation of three per program.
The issue is currently being addressed by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) Task Group on the Reform of Universities Selection and Entry chaired by a professor from NUI Maynooth.