Pupils graduate from Dundee’s first Children’s University
More than 80 young people have graduated from Dundee’s first ever Children’s University following a special ceremony held at Abertay University.
Dundee Children’s University was set up in January 2015 with support from Children’s University Scotland and the ScottishPower Foundation to enable young people aged 5-14 to widen their skills and interests, while providing a new and innovative route towards further and higher education.
The first graduates, pupils from Blackness Primary School, Ancrum Road Primary School and Victoria Park Primary School, each collected stamps in a ‘Passport to Learning’ while taking part in a wide range of learning activities, from gallery and museum visits, to drama, crafts, sports and further education in the classroom. The programme encourages children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to be inspired to take part in new things. Youngsters are required to complete at least 30 hours of learning before their graduation.
86 pupils attended the graduation, with parents, teachers, University and College Principals and staff joining them to celebrate their achievements.
Ann Loughrey, Trustee and Executive Officer at the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “The ScottishPower Foundation is committed to supporting young people in the advancement of their education and careers and we are delighted the Dundee Children’s University pilot has proven to be such a success. It is clear that the young people gain a great deal from their educational journey and furthering their education and we are very pleased to play a part in that.”
Children's University Scotland was the first project to be awarded funding by the ScottishPower Foundation when it was established in 2013. Dundee Children’s University is being undertaken in partnership with Abertay University, the University of Dundee and Dundee and Angus College. Local Children’s University centres now exist in Glasgow, Dundee, East and Midlothian, and Aberdeen with over 300 children graduating since its inauguration.
Mary De La Pena, Chief Executive of Children’s University Scotland, said: “This inaugural graduation of Dundee CU is another milestone in the expansion of Children’s University across Scotland, which is only made possible through the support of ScottishPower Foundation, other funders, and collective effort of our partner organisations, for which I am very grateful. Our aim is to encourage children to broaden their horizons, try new experiences that will inspire them to continue their learning journey and ultimately improve their life chances. Above all we want them to enjoy and have fun!”
Professor Nigel Seaton, Principal of Abertay University, said: “Abertay is proud to be both the administrative base for the Dundee Children’s University and the venue for today’s graduation ceremony. The excitement and sense of achievement shown by all the children here today is infectious, and I am sure that their participation in the DCU activities will have fired their imaginations and their passion for learning. It’s great to be involved in celebrating their success, and it’s also wonderful to see the pride in them shown by all their friends and family, who deserve our praise for supporting and encouraging their children so well.”
The ScottishPower Foundation is a registered Scottish charity (SC043862) and a company limited by guarantee (SC445116). The Foundation’s aim is to make a significant and lasting contribution to society and enhance the quality of life in local communities. It provides funding to registered charities and non-profit organisations for the following purposes: the advancement of education; the advancement of environmental protection; the advancement of the arts, heritage, culture or science; the prevention or relief of poverty and the relief of those in need by reason of disability or other disadvantage; the advancement of citizenship and community development.
Children’s University Scotland
CU Trust Scotland was registered as a charity in April 2013, set up to oversee the strategic development of Children’s University in Scotland.
Children's University Scotland aims to attract children from all backgrounds aged 5 to 14 to use Passports to Learning to engage in voluntary, out of school hours learning activities which will enable them to graduate at a grown-up university with caps and gowns. It targets those children who need it most.
Children's University Scotland was the first project to be awarded funding by the ScottishPower Foundation established to reinforce the energy company's commitment to charitable work throughout Britain.
Children’s University Scotland has also received grant funding from Scottish Government, as part of the drive to raise aspirations and close the attainment gap.
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