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National College of Ireland: Early Learning Initiative shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award

2021 is the first year that Higher Education Institutes in Ireland were considered for Times Higher Education Awards (THE Awards).

This morning saw publication of the THE Awards shortlist, and National College of Ireland is proud to be included.

The Early Learning Initiative has been shortlisted in the category Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community, with a focus on the continuity of services during Covid-19 restrictions. The speed with which ELI pivoted to remote working - while growing the number of engagements - is truly remarkable. Pictured above is an example of a virtual home visit.

Director of the Early Learning Initiative, Dr Josephine Bleach reacted to the news:
“We are so delighted to be shortlisted for the THE Award recognising Outstanding Commitment to the Local Community. It is a fantastic tribute to the outstanding, sustainable partnerships that have worked together over 15 years to ensure that 6,000 children a year across Ireland will succeed in education, career and life, and a valued tangible acknowledgment of how, together, we are changing lives by ensuring that children and young people thrive despite the pandemic."

NCI extends congratulations to those also shortlisted for this category: Birmingham City University, University of Central Lancashire, Edge Hill University, London Metropolitan University and University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. The College also wishes success to the other Irish HEIs that made the shortlist in other categories: TUD, UCC, RCSI and WIT.

THE editor John Gill said:  
“This is the 17th year that the THE Awards will recognise the best of the best in UK higher education, across 20 categories covering all aspects of university activity. But this year’s awards will reflect a period of turmoil and innovation necessitated by the pandemic, making it quite unlike any previous year.

For the first time this year, we have also extended our awards to include higher education institutions in Ireland, and we are delighted to say that we have had a record number of entries, reflecting the brilliance of universities across the whole of the UK and Ireland. With almost 600 institutions, teams and individuals nominated, it really is a fantastic achievement to make it onto this year’s shortlist.

We look forward to celebrating the incredible response of university staff in exceptionally tough circumstances when we gather for the Oscars of higher education in November.”


To see the full shortlist:

To learn more about the Early Learning Initiative: