PUPILS at St Enda’s Community School are being encouraged to raise their self-expectations by the University of Limerick and see university life as a natural progression.
The school recently took part in a competition to design reusable cloth bags, in a social inclusion project developed by UL with the aim of capturing a message of equality and inclusivity through the eyes of young people.
Professor Paul McCutcheon, Vice President Academic and Registrar at UL, explained that as part of UL’s strategic plan they have committed to widening participation at third level for students from schools and communities traditionally under-represented at university.
In pursuit of this, UL has a dedicated office co-ordinating programmes to encourage those aged 12-18 years who may not traditionally see university life as an option for them. “The university has a very long relationship with St Enda’s, of which it is very proud and it is wonderful to see the incredible amount of creativity on display here today,” added Prof McCutcheon. The top award went to 2nd year pupil Mark Buckley and 5th year pupil Sara Pokrywczynska, both pictured opposite, whose winning designs were printed on bags to be distributed in the school and wider community.
Some 43.2% of adults from the community around St Enda’s finish their formal education at primary level, and UL hopes to counteract this by raising the aspiration levels of young people.