What is Bridging the Gap?
Bridging the Gap is aimed at enhancing the educational experience of young people in Cork City . The initiative aims to 'bridge the gap' between the educational opportunities and achievements of pupils attending schools in disadvantaged areas of Cork city and those in other areas. The project is co-ordinated by University College Cork, funded jointly by the Department of Education and Science and by private funding obtained by UCC. Bridging the Gap aims to establish Cork City as a centre of excellence for educational inclusion. The initiative helps school communities and individuals to achieve their educational goals. Statutory and voluntary agencies are contributing their expertise and experience, working together to achieve success.
Who is involved?
Prof. Áine Hyland, former Professor of Education and Vice President of UCC, is the director. The manager is Dr. Tracey Connolly. Bridging the Gap also draws on the expertise of staff from a number of University departments. Forty seven primary and post-primary schools in the Cork City area are participating in the initiative. Bridging the Gap collaborates with schools and other agencies working in local communities. It also links with state-funded educational opportunity initiatives.
UCC has formed positive links with local communities and with primary and second-level schools in Cork city. Bridging the Gap helps the University to fulfil its community mission and provides a rich opportunity to develop university/school partnerships. Bridging the Gap also works closely with the university's Access programme, which supports second-level students in those schools who wish to compete for third-level places.
This kind of partnership has the potential to be a new way of life, not just another project,and to change the culture not only of the schools, but also of the university. (Michael Fullan The New Meaning of Educational Change London: Cassell 1991)