21 September 2023
By Tony Forde
Provest to work with other businesses to grow the Access UCC PLUS Programme and break down barriers to higher education
Financial services firm Provest has committed to providing two bursaries to help students complete their studies at UCC through the university’s Access UCC PLUS Programme.
The Cork based company is calling on other businesses to support the programme which allows students who, for a variety of social and economic reasons, are underrepresented at third level.
Mark O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Provest Private Clients Limited said; “We are delighted to provide our support to this very important university project and to demonstrate Provest’s commitment to supporting those students who are educationally disadvantaged in our community. We hope that our support can influence and encourage other companies to also support the programme. Breaking down the barriers to education for those who may not have the same level of support as other students in second level schools, to compete for entry into higher level education is hugely important.”
Provest provides pension consultancy advice to indigenous Irish businesses along with personalised financial advice and high-quality customer service to those looking towards their retirement. The company manages and advises private and corporate clients on a range of areas from pensions, life cover to investments and retirement planning.
Professor John O’Halloran, President UCC, stated “I would like to thank Provest for supporting Access UCC PLUS, which has seen young people achieve a success that they could have only ever dreamed of before joining the programme. Support from the corporate sector has allowed the programme to continue helping young people who may have all the academic ability, but unfortunately are not in a position to proceed to third level education and we are grateful to businesses like Provest to make that happen for these students.”
The Access UCC PLUS Programme seeks to target able students within second level schools linked to the university and provides them with motivational, educational, and financial assistance throughout their secondary schooling, to enable them to compete for third level places. The programme also recognises the need to influence the educational aspirations and achievements of a wider circle of students in the schools and to influence the educational ethos of the whole school.
Students wishing to progress to third level can apply through the HEAR (Higher Education Access Route), which is the third level alternative admissions scheme for school leavers, resident in the Republic of Ireland, who are underrepresented in Higher Education, due to their socio-economic background.
When these students enter UCC, the Access UCC PLUS Programme provides them with a wide range of critical supports to enable them to reach their full potential while at UCC. The Programme was founded in 1998 and to date over 2,300 students have graduated from UCC through it.
Kerry Bryson, CEO of Cork University Foundation said; “This generous support from Provest was facilitated by Alumni and Development UCC and Cork University Foundation. Provest’s gift to UCC is indicative of their commitment to supporting student success. Their support of Access UCC PLUS goes a long way towards removing the societal and economic barriers that so many students experience.”