18 May, 2009 - Minister Haughey presents awards to graduates of the 'Bridge to Education' Programme at 'DCU in the Community' Outreach Centre

Seán Haughey TD, Minister for Lifelong Learning today presented certificates to students graduating from the 'DCU in the Community' centre in Ballymun, North Dublin.

The centre, located in the heart of Ballymun, was launched by Minister Haughey in June last year and is an important stepping stone to increasing levels of access and lifelong learning in the area. The physical location of the centre is the key to its enormous success. 
It offers an alternative route of entry for students as well as a flexible, community based model provision that is particularly suited to adult learners.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Haughey congratulated the graduates of this innovative programme for their motivation, commitment and ability. 'I commend the students today on their motivation and ambition to realise their full potential through education.
'They are role models for their community and I hope they will inspire others to follow in their footsteps and return to education. 
Minister Haughey commended DCU for setting up this initiative and for its other activities to widen access to education. 'I congratulate DCU which has made a major contribution in opening up higher education to the people of Ballymun and North Dublin.
The Minister emphasised the national importance of ensuring wider access to higher education for target groups and highlighted the positive impact that increased investment, resources and partnerships have had to date 'Students from under-represented socio-economic or cultural groups, mature students and students with a disability are participating in higher education in greater numbers than ever before.
'This is very heartening.
'We must ensure this continues to be the case.
'I congratulate you, the graduates on today, your day, which is a special milestone in your lives and in the lives of your families.
'You can all be extremely proud of your achievement.
'I know this is only the beginning and it will open many doors for you on the journey of lifelong learning,’ concluded Minister Haughey.