‘Dragon’ kicks off DCU’s Summer Scholars Programme

30 Mar 2011

DCU’s two-week Summer Scholars Programme, which was launched today by Dragons’ Den Sean Gallagher, is aimed to give students a glimpse of university life and provide them with an educational and enjoyable summer.

The programme, which begins on 20 June, offers 11-17-year-olds the opportunity to partake in a ‘trial-run’ a university course with other like-minded students. The course allows students to discover the enjoyment of learning without the pressure of achieving grades

Students can choose from five disciplines – humanities, law and government, business, computing and science – and while aspects of the first-year university curriculum will be followed, classes will be entertaining and suited to the students’ age groups. 

Students of law and government will learn more about the conflicts that are occurring across the globe, and students of journalism will learn to analyse the portrayal of race, women and crime in the media, as well as learn news reporting, interviewing and reviewing techniques. Students will also have an option to explore Japanese culture by learning the language, customs and cookery.

Students of science will have the chance to spend time in the country’s most advanced research laboratories, where the next-generation diagnostic tools and drug therapies are being developed.

Students of business will design their own marketing campaign and present it to the class. Computing and engineering students will learn about fuel efficiency and programming issues, such as sorting and searching.

DCU president, Prof Brian MacCraith, said, “For students today, choosing what to study at university can be difficult and overwhelming.  The earlier we can introduce second-level students to a taste of university life, the better. Summer Scholars is an excellent way of helping them to understand what they enjoy and are genuinely interested in”.

Speaking at the launch, Gallagher said, “DCU Summer Scholars is a great opportunity for secondary-school students, who will get the chance to try out university lectures and make lots of friends over the summer. It will help them to make better choices when they are filling out their college application forms and encourage them to take courses at third level better suited to their interests.”

Students have the choice to commute or live on campus. Classes run 9am-3pm every day, and from 3-5pm, there will be a range of supervised activities to choose from. The course has been organised by the Centre for Talented Youth in Ireland (CTYI), who have 30 years experience of delivering courses outside of the normal school curriculum. Students do not have to be a member of CTYI to apply.

The course is non-profit making and in special circumstances, students can apply for a subsidy to attend the course.