The Undergraduate Awards held their inaugural UPresent: Island of Ireland 2017 in the Helix, Dublin City University (DCU) on Thursday 1st February. The awards aim to mark the achievements of undergraduate academic research and “share the millions of pages filled with the ideas of undergraduate students that are otherwise left to sit on a shelf gathering dust”. Six of the 23 highly commended entrants who spoke at the event were from Trinity.
The entrants from Trinity included Deirdre McAteer who gave a short presentation of her paper on the postmodern novel Winterwood by Patrick McCabe, and Eimhin O’Reilly, who spoke about his paper on dystopian fiction in the interwar years of the 20th century.
Communications co-ordinator of the Undergraduate Awards, Clare Ní Cheallaigh, told Trinity News that “since the Undergraduate Awards are an Irish organisation operating globally, this event gives us a chance to celebrate our roots”.
The awards were concluded by an address from Professor Ellen Hazelkorn, Policy Advisor to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on the “role of higher education in the age of populism”. Professor Hazelkorn noted the conflict between the global nature of higher education and the current move against globalism in international politics. She also said that education seemed to play a central role in all of this with it “highlighting the gap between those with an education and those without”.