I became interested in the Access PhD Scholarship through my support for the undergraduate Access Programme. It’s hard for a person with limited resources to do an undergraduate course, never mind a postgraduate degree. For someone with limited resources, as soon as you’ve gotten through your undergraduate degree, if you can get that far, you’re going to be under financial pressure to get a job, and that puts further study out of reach. That was certainly the case for the student supported by this scholarship.
The by-product of Hannan’s research may change the way accounting is taught and revolutionise how accountants are trained in the future. I also hope that the Access PhD Scholarship will have knock-on benefits to society in general. Education is a really important facet of a well-functioning society. It’s my belief that the more educated people are, the greater the impact on society.
I grew up in Dublin in the late seventies, early eighties, and I had a great education. At the time, going to university here was very inexpensive. I came to the United States 30 years ago, and it’s been good to me.
Today, education in Ireland has become more expensive. It’s beyond the reach of some. I think trying to level the playing field for people who might not have the same resources is a decent way to give something back to society. Over the years, I’ve been able to provide support for students who wouldn’t otherwise have the financial wherewithal to pursue higher education through initiatives like the DCU Access Programme.
There’s an opportunity cost to society when students don’t get the support to go on to further study. If access to education is limited by one’s financial circumstances, we end up limiting access for many who, with the right resources, could end up making a very meaningful contribution to society.
If you’re thinking about giving to any organisation, you should do it because you believe in it.
“If you have a relationship, a passion, a belief, your contribution will be more meaningful. You have to believe in the impact your contribution will make, and really believe in the mission or goal of the organisation.”
Although it isn’t what inspires us to give, the tax system in the United States is very beneficial for donors, and we believe that those fiscal incentives certainly incentivise philanthropy in the private arena.
I like that DCU is trying to give access to education to people from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, and to other groups who historically have been marginalised. If you can improve access to education, you will have a better-informed society, and that means a society that will function well. We have supported access to education for students from seventh grade (equivalent to first year in Irish secondary schools) to postgraduate level, and it is an area we proudly believe in.
The Ireland Funds is a non-profit organisation in the United States. It’s a donor-advised programme that makes sure 100% of your donation goes to the intended recipient. To us as donors, it is very impactful to know that 100% of the funding we contribute goes to the organisation we want to support.