Despite challenging times for the global aviation industry, International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) has made a major commitment to supporting DCU Access students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue a career in aviation.
In 2020, ISTAT pledged to support four first year DCU Access students studying Aviation Management for the duration of their degrees. This commitment from ISTAT comes as welcome news for these four Access students who face their first year at University in the midst of significant uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For 30 years, DCU has delivered Ireland’s first and largest university Access Programme, enabling over 4,220 students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue their dream of third level education. The generosity of supporters like ISTAT has been critical in ensuring that DCU can continue to provide all 1,168 Access students enrolled at the university in 2020/21 with a comprehensive package of financial, personal and academic supports.
Maksim Andrijanovs, a first year Aviation Management at DCU student supported by ISTAT, explains how the Access Programme has supported him during his first year at DCU:
“The Access Programme has been a massive support for me since joining DCU. I’m quite a social person, so not being able to go onto campus and meet up with people has been difficult for me, but the Access Programme has supports in place to help anyone who’s struggling with online learning and the overall experience of a virtual college life.”
DCU’s BSc in Aviation Management is a four-year degree focusing on providing students with a foundation of business management principles and knowledge of the aviation industry, while also giving students the option to incorporate Pilot Studies or Air Traffic Controller Studies into their degree in their final year. DCU is recognised as Registered Training Facility (RF) by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) for the theoretical knowledge needed to acquire the Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL).
Gerry Butler, ISTAT President, highlighted the importance of ISTAT’s recent support of the DCU Access Programme:
“The ISTAT Foundation is delighted to partner with DCU to support the DCU Access Programme. DCU has been the leader of inclusivity among all third level institutions in Ireland and specifically I would like to thank Jason Sherlock, DCU Educational Trust Director of Development, for his commitment, enthusiasm and drive to make this happen. The support will help some students to take their first steps in their aviation career through the BSc in Aviation Management degree. We look forward to seeing and hearing more from DCU and the students in due course and following their career paths.”
Following the announcement of this new partnership, Sigthor Einarsson, ISTAT Foundation Grants Committee Chair, states why ISTAT believe it’s important to support students during this difficult time:
“Supporting the DCU Access Programme is an important milestone for the ISTAT Foundation, as we have been working towards securing ties with more higher education institutions outside of the USA. The DCU Access Programme is a perfect fit in many ways. Making aviation-related university education accessible to underprivileged young and bright kids has always been at the core of the Foundation’s mission, so we were delighted to be presented with this opportunity.”