Ulster University Raises Funds to Fuel Education at Home

A look at how Ulster University's support for schools during COVID-19 pandemic has impacted pupils most in need.

   18 June 2020

Now that the most unusual school year in our memories has come to a close, we’ve been catching up with some of the primary and post-primary schools near our Belfast and Magee campuses to hear how our donations of IT equipment impacted on their students who needed them the most.

The emergence of COVID-19 back in March meant schools very quickly had to put plans in place to facilitate home learning. This was already a stressful time for all involved but learning was further hampered for those who didn’t have access to computers or laptops at home. Ulster University in partnership with Santander Universities, Ulster Community Investment Trust and Belfast Charitable Trust stepped in to provide hundreds of laptops and other IT resources so that these pupils did not miss out on the chance to continue their learning at home.

Paula Stuart from the Belfast Model School for Girls said:

“We were delighted and relieved to be able to offer this support to our students who needed it most. We were aware of so many students from the area who were not able to access online learning, because they didn’t have access to a computer at home. Short term, this was a huge help in preventing the attainment gap widening further for those from deprived areas. Longer term, the benefit of these students being more confident with technology will also boost their further education and future career opportunities. On behalf of all the schools and students, I’d like to thank Ulster University, Belfast Charitable Society, the Halifax Foundation, Ulster Community Investment Trust, and The National Lottery Community Fund for this much needed funding.”

Martina McCarron, Principal of St Joseph’s Boys’ School in Derry~Londonderry shared a video message about how the donations of IT equipment would help her pupils.

Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Provost of the Magee Campus at Ulster University added:

“At Ulster University, we recognise how the journey to University can start at an early age. This is a critical juncture for local young people in terms of their educational journey.  We, through our Community Engagement team and in partnership with Santander Universities and the Ulster Community Investment Trust, are delighted to be able to support our local communities in these challenging times.”

A huge thanks to all our partners who have enabled us to provide this vital support to schools and young people at a very challenging time.