Undergraduate Awards launches search for world's brightest students

THis week see the launch of the search for the world's top students by the Irish academic awards programme, the Undergraduate Awards, which will culminate in the most innovative undergraduate talent from across the globe convening on Irish soil in November for the three day UA Summit.

The Minister for Education & Skills Ruairi Quinn T.D. has encouraged undergraduate students across Ireland to submit to the 2012 Undergraduate Awards programme – an initiative co-founded by Paddy Cosgrave (Dublin Web Summit, F.ounders) that recognises innovation & critical thinking within coursework at an undergraduate level.

"The Undergraduate Awards are a most welcome and valuable addition to the higher education landscape both in Ireland and abroad, encouraging innovation and critical thinking at an undergraduate level." said Minister Quinn at the official UA 2012 launch. "Not only is it dedicated to the bolstering of our nation's knowledge economy but it, too, is working to create a global community of independent thinkers & thought leaders who will convene annually in Ireland, showcasing the country as a great place for their ideas to flourish."

Open to undergraduate students in their final or penultimate year of a degree course, the awards programme is accepting corrected coursework that has achieved a high 2.1 or above from students attending every third level institution across the island of Ireland and the top 20 universities in Britain, USA & Canada – including Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford and MIT.

"This year's programme has received an overwhelming response" explains UA Programme Director, Louise Hodgson, "The final deadline is July 2nd but already over 2,150 students from as far afield as CalTech, McGill and St. Andrews as well as from our own third level institutions have officially registered their intent to submit."

Speaking of Google's support of the programme as a Founding Partner, John Herlihy, MD of Google Ireland, said, "The Undergraduate Awards is an important initiative that helps position Irish graduates among their international counterparts. For prospective employers, UA provides them with additional independent verification of the quality of the graduate's coursework. For the graduate, they are an important validation that they are pursuing excellence in their chosen careers."

The Undergraduate Award winners will be brought from around the world to Ireland for the three-day UA Summit in November where they will be presented with their awards by the patron of the Undergraduate Awards, President Michael D. Higgins. Students can submit to UA 2012 at www.undergraduateawards.com before July 2nd, 2012.

Photography Credit, Maxwells Photography

Pictured at the launch of the the 2012 Undergraduate Awards programme – an initiative that recognises innovation & critical thinking within coursework at an undergraduate level was from left students Richard Shaffrey, Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn T.D and Grainne Pollak. Students can submit their coursework at www.undergraduateawards.com