2015 Press Releases

50,000 students ‘graduate’ from UCC

13 Aug 2015
Head of the UCC Visitor's Centre JP Quinn and his team celebrate a decade of success at a 'birthday' attended by UCC staff, students and friends.(Photo: Donagh Glavin)

The UCC Visitors’ Centre has two reasons to celebrate – its tenth birthday and reaching the milestone of 50,000 Primary School children from local and national schools having undertaken its pioneering Junior Conferring Programme.  

Having opened its doors on 10 August, 2005, the UCC Visitors’ Centre is now the focal point of welcome and information for visitors to campus – of all ages. Its Junior Conferring Programme is the only one of its kind in Ireland.

Read all the highlights here from over the 10 years, including comments from schools, visitors, past staff who have gone on to work all over the world across a variety of professions, and of course JP Quinn, Head of the Visitors’ Centre:

“The great joy of working in the Visitors’ Centre is the daily interaction with hundreds of primary school children who take part in our Junior Conferring Programme. I am very proud of the fact that UCC is the only university in Ireland that operates a programme of its kind. It's evolved over the years and all of the students who worked here have played a role in developing it and shaping the programme. We in the Centre are very encouraged by the support of the university which allows us to provide this experience to schools both locally and nationally.”

He continued:

“One of our highlights this year has been our George Boole Tours as part of the George Boole Bicentenary celebrations, which have added a new tourist dimension to our operation. We plan on continuing these daily tours way beyond 2016, which will further cement UCC as a must-see tourist destination. We have had a great ten years in the Visitors’ Centre and we are enthusiastically looking forward to our future and being an active partner in the UCC community.”

TripAdvisor recently marked UCC out as one of the most popular attractions in Ireland. The reviews which led to the coveted certification are the end result of a significant amount of hard work and dedication by UCC Visitors’ Centre, staff and students across UCC, grounds staff in UCC Buildings & Estates, General Services and UCC's active social media presence.

Junior Conferring Programme

The tours are a focused effort to enable younger school children to interact with UCC in a fun and educational manner, and to inspire our youngest scholars to explore the notion of third-level education. Daily trips see children visiting through the Arch of UCC dressed in ceremonial gowns.

A school tour comprises of a visit to the Aula Maxima, the Stone Corridor and the newly refurbished Crawford Observatory. Each tour concludes with a junior conferring ceremony, where all children are awarded a junior graduation scroll to record their visit to the University.

Mr Keith O'Brolachain, Principal at Walterstown National School Cobh, Cork commented:

“Our school has been bringing pupils to the UCC Visitors’ Centre for a number of years and it is without a doubt one of the highlights of the year for our 6th Class pupils. The tour itself is pitched at a perfect level for the children and leaves the pupils wanting a taste of more of UCC. The guides have always been full of knowledge and very aware of the age group that they are dealing with. Our pupils always leave with an insight in to university life and the endless possibilities that await them. The pupils love the gifts that they receive of course and the DVD that the Visitors’ Centre sends on has become part of our own 6th Class Graduation ceremony. I would now consider our annual visit as one of the most important days out in our school calendar and wouldn’t miss it for anything. I would encourage all schools to make the trip.”

To book a school tour or for more information about the George Boole Tours, contact the Visitors’ Centre on visitorscentre@ucc.ie or +00353 (0)21 490 1876

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF