UCD Smurfit School Launches the Aspire Scholarship Programme for 2017

Date: 09 Mar 2017


MBA and MSc scholarships at one of the world’s top business schools available – apply by 29th April, 2017

Now in its eighth consecutive year, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School’s Aspire Scholarship Programme, which provides graduates with the opportunity to receive financial support to study either an MBA or MSc programme, is now open for applications from graduates nationwide. This year’s Aspire scholarship programme will provide funding for twelve students and cover fifty per cent of the tuition costs for three MBA and nine MSc programmes commencing this September. Applications can be made online on the Aspire Scholarship page before the closing date on 29th April 2017.

The Aspire Scholarship Programme was established in 2010 through the generosity of a €500,000 endowment from an anonymous benefactor with the objective of supporting graduates who may otherwise be unable to undertake postgraduate studies at a leading international business school. To date there have been 80 recipients of Aspire scholarship funding with participants progressing to work for some of Ireland’s leading employers such as Google, Citi, KPMG, Ulster Bank, PepsiCo, Microsoft, AIB, Accenture, Mitsubishi and PwC or establishing their own businesses following completion of their masters programme.

Speaking at the launch of the 2017 Aspire Scholarship Programme, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Dean, UCD College of Business, said: “As educators at one of the world’s leading business schools, it is our ambition to develop the next generation who will shape a better society. We strive to ensure our students are truly representative of all those with drive, initiative and talent; irrespective of their financial means. A programme such as Aspire allows students who would otherwise be unable to undertake postgraduate business studies due to funding challenges to learn from - and also teach to - our community of scholars and realise their - and our - full potential. We are extremely grateful to our donors for their ongoing generosity and unwavering commitment to this scholarship programme which has and continues to benefit exceptional students and graduates.”

Karen Kennedy, Aspire Alumna MBA 2011-2013 and Director of Business Strategy at Clúid Housing, said: “The Aspire Scholarship allowed me to complete an MBA at one of the world’s top business schools, something that would have been very challenging without the financial support provided. Completing the Smurfit MBA has provided me with additional knowledge, skills and confidence that has differentiated me from other graduates and provided me with a significant advantage that will endure for many years to come. I would encourage those who have the aspiration, but perhaps not the resources to study at a top business school, to consider the Aspire scholarship programme.”

Kean Gilbert, current Aspire Scholar, MSc in Management Consultancy & Director of Fingal Wholesale Ltd, said: “The scholarship is providing me with a great opportunity that otherwise would have been out of my reach. Completing my masters at this prestigious school is one thing, but to complete it with financial assistance has provided me with greater freedom and resources to engage fully with the programme and maximise the benefits of course participation while also running my own business. I am grateful for the generosity of the donor and hope many others, like me, will consider applying for this year’s Aspire programme.”

Find out more about the Aspire Programme


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