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Minister Harris launches new initiative to address education inequality across 21 DEIS schools

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris TD has today launched a new initiative aimed at supporting students of DEIS schools access third level education.

Power 2 Progress is a programme fromUniversity College Dublin (UCD) in collaboration with Zurich Ireland (Zurich) and with support from the Z Zurich Foundation and Rethink Ireland.

Minister Harris said: “This is a really exciting initiative aimed at supporting students in secondary school to achieve their full potential. Over 700 students across Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare and Wexford have signed up, with plans to expand into Laois and Offaly.

As part of the programme, UCD student teachers will provide additional educational support to participating students through weekly tutorials over the course of their senior cycle.

The programme will facilitate onsite visits to UCD and Zurich offices based in Ireland to encourage students to pursue further education and professional careers. As part of the project, Z Zurich Foundation will also fund a 4‐year PhD to generate a much-needed evidence base to inform on future educational policy in Ireland.

Minister Harris added: “The aim of this important work is to ensure nobody is left behind and we can improve literacy and numeracy rates, to improve progression into third level and  remove barriers to accessing education and employment.”

The Power 2 Progress programme will be run by Judith Harford, Professor of Education, Deputy Head of the School of Education UCD.

To find out more about this programme visit: