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LINC Programme at MIC scoops two Education Awards

Pictured at the annual Education Awards are Irene Hegarty, LINC Admin Team, Marie Doherty, Interim National Director of the LINC Programme at MIC; Dermot Comerford, Marketing and Communications Executive for LINC; Anna Barr, LINC Tutor; Annette Kearns, Maynooth University Froebel Department, with the presenter of the award (name unknown). 

LINC Programme at MIC scoops two Education Awards

The Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years – LINC Programme consortium, led by Mary Immaculate College (MIC), has scooped two awards at the annual Education Awards, which were held recently in Dublin.

The LINC programme took home trophies for ‘Best Online Learning Experience’ and ‘Best Marketing and Communications Team’ at the annual awards ceremony, which recognises, encourages and celebrates excellence in third-level education.


The LINC Programme is a one-year, Level 6 Special Purpose award delivered by a consortium led by MIC, which includes Early Childhood Ireland and Maynooth University-Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education. The programme is designed to facilitate practising early years’ teachers to promote the inclusion of children with additional needs. The programme is mostly delivered online whereby participants throughout Ireland watch lessons and interact with LINC tutors who teach the programme using forums and online learning platforms.

Commenting on the awards, Professor Emer Ring, Dean of Education at MIC, outlined the positive findings of the recent Interim Evaluation of the LINC Programme, which highlighted the exceptionally high-quality of students’ on-line learning experiences, and the commitment of the LINC consortium to ensuring that the programme continues to be a beacon for inclusion in early learning and care, both nationally and internationally.

According to Prof. Ring, “The LINC Programme is a powerful example of the potential of partnerships for excellence in Higher Education. I would like to thank Maynooth University – Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Ireland for their ongoing commitment and dedication to fostering constructive and progressive collaboration and co-operation, which, together with the work of the outstanding LINC team, lie at the heart of the phenomenal success of the LINC programme.” 

Sharing in Prof. Ring’s congratulations, Marie Doherty, Interim National Director of the LINC Programme said, “These awards signify the commitment and dedication of the full LINC team. Winning the ‘Best Online Learning Experience’ for the second time is testament to the learner-focused ethos of the programme; providing meaningful and relevant learning experiences for early childhood teachers in professional practice. The ‘Best Marketing and Communications Team’ award demonstrates the success and visibility of the programme, ensuring that the wider early years sector is informed of inclusive practice.”

The LINC programme is no stranger to awards having previously won an Education Award for Best Online Learning Experience in 2017 and a Student Engagement and Communications Award in 2019, as well as being awarded the prestigious Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning in 2018.

Further information on the LINC programme can be found here.

For more stories on Mary Immaculate College, click here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.