More than 400 University of Limerick students were honoured at the 7th annual President’s Volunteer Award (PVA) ceremony held in the University Concert Hall.
The students completed more than 22,000 hours of voluntary work across a range of civic and charitable organisations during the last academic year.
In total, 401 people applied for this year’s PVAs, from across the student body, including undergraduate, postgraduate, mature and international students.
Speaking at the event, UL President, Doctor Des Fitzgerald said: “The value of engaging with our external communities is a strong ethos at UL consequently we are leading in encouraging and recognising the volunteer efforts of students. We are the only Higher Education Institution in the country to structure student volunteering so that the significant contribution they make to our communities is recognised and acknowledged on their transcript.
“Not only have they made a tremendous difference to others, many of them will have gained valuable practical experience that will stand to them as they continue in education and graduate into the workforce,” he added.
“We live in a fast-paced, time-poor society, so it is hugely heartening to see so many of our students commit their time to volunteering for the purpose of making a difference in the world, and that is what we are acknowledging and celebrating today,” Dr Fitzgerald continued.
UL graduate and social entrepreneur Aoibheann O’Brien of FoodCloud addressed the ceremony.
The PVA programme was established in 2010 to encourage students to engage with their communities and become lifelong believers in social responsibility. This year’s students who received PVAs are from countries including Spain, Canada, China, Bangladesh, France, Germany, India, United States, Saudi Arabia, and Italy.