AIB has announced it is pledging a €1 million grant to Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) which will go towards increasing participation in third-level education among students from areas and backgrounds of socio-economic disadvantage. Over five years, the partnership will see AIB support the establishment of three Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives at TU Dublin each focusing on a specific area that affects students accessing third-level education.
With the development of a new campus at Grangegorman, the University will establish the AIB Civic Engagement Outreach Centre, a dedicated teaching and learning space for community engagement programmes aimed at increasing the participation in Higher Education in significantly under-represented sections of society. The AIB Civic Engagement Outreach Centre will host a range of engagement activities such as the Junior Cycle Workshop, which helps student from DEIS schools build a relationship with TU Dublin early in their secondary school life through interactive activities and workshops.
AIB will also support the expansion of the AIB Mathematics Learning Support Centre on the University’s Tallaght and Blanchardstown campuses, which provides impartial and non-judgemental support to students of all mathematical abilities. Opening two new drop-in centres in 2020 will ensure all TU Dublin undergraduates can avail of this free one-to-one tutoring in any area of maths that they may find challenging.
The third initiative supported by the bank is the AIB Research Centre in Equitable and Inclusive Cultures (RINCE). Led by the Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at TU Dublin, Professor Yvonne Galligan, providing national and international academic and thought leadership in the field of EDI. Activities will include the establishment of the annual AIB EDI lecture series; engagement with industry leaders across a wide variety of sectors to ensure best practice in EDI in the workplace and world-class, pioneering EDI research.
Jim O’Keeffe, Head of Retail Banking at AIB said, “AIB is delighted and feels privileged to have the opportunity of pledging €1 million to TU Dublin, which will go towards increasing participation in third-level education. AIB recognises our crucial role and indeed, our dependence on the strong relationships we have with communities right across Ireland. This grant is a further opportunity for us to give back and support the communities in the areas of youth and education, it forms part of our wider programme in education where we have our long-established Build a Bank and Future Sparks initiatives in schools.”
Welcoming the announcement, President of Technological University Dublin, Professor David FitzPatrick said, “TU Dublin comes from a long tradition of engagement with communities and widening access to education is a core aspect of our educational mission. Today’s generous announcement by AIB will support crucial programmes which provide transformative learning experiences for those from backgrounds where participation in Higher Education is traditionally low and services such as the Maths Learning Centre that encourage students to reach their full potential. A key objective of the University’s Strategic Intent for 2030 is to foster a welcoming learning community, which emphasises Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for all and the AIB Research Centre in Equitable and Inclusive Cultures (RINCE) will playa central role in realising this ambition.”