An Cosán Virtual Community College (VCC) win Social Innovation Education Fund

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Congratulations to An Cosan Virtual Community College who were among the winners of the Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI)’s Education Fund announced last Tuesday by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, at an event at Smock Alley Theatre.
Worth €7 million, the fund is one of the most significant investments of private philanthropy in programmes that tackle educational disadvantage.
At the event the Social Innovation Fund announced the 10 recipients of its Education Fund and An Cosán Virtual Community College (VCC) were identified as one of these ten “best in class” education programmes that are delivering a long-term positive impact on their young and adult learners, their families and communities.
Speaking after the event, Liz Waters, CEO An Cosán stated
We are honoured to be selected for this award and to be in the same group as the other innovative projects who have a shared vision for education equality.
“We are passionate about making access to higher education available for all our citizens, especially the most marginalised in our society and those who have been failed by the traditional system.
“We believe that the use of technology and virtual learning is the best way to break down barriers and make education more accessible.”

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton TD was delighted to announce the winners.

“I have set out the ambition to make Ireland’s Education service the best in Europe within a decade.

“Some of the initiatives that we see here today, show real innovation in tackling some of the challenges we face in education, particularly in the area of breaking down cycles of disadvantage, and will most definitely contribute towards our realisation of this ambition.

“Furthermore, the Education Fund is a celebration of the power of collaboration between the private and public sectors and it’s great to see SIFI showing the potential of both to work in partnership together to deliver real results.

Deirdre Mortell, CEO of SIFI highlighted the importance the impact of education has on people’s lives.

“Education has a huge impact on our later lives; how much money we earn, the kind of job that we can get, and  our capacity to support older parents or young children.

“Most especially, it affects the confidence that we have as we progress in life. It has the power to lift you out of disadvantage or exclusion onto a new life trajectory.

“Early school leaving and exclusion can have a devastating impact on that potential.

“It is with that in mind that we set up the Education Fund. People experience educational disadvantage for many reasons, including poverty, ill health, mental health issues, or disability.

“We believe the Education Fund helps people who have been excluded to get qualifications and build new lives for themselves.