Name: Orla Fagan
Course taken: National Diploma in Development Studies (completed 2003)
Current work title / position: Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Journalist
“Kimmage DSC doesn’t just offer just a studies programme – it offers a holistic learning experience. All the lecturers have worked in overseas development so their knowledge does not just come from text books but from practical insights in to what it takes to provide opportunity for those in the developing world. Fellow students, all of whom have a development background, enhance the programme with their enriching experiences of the reality and challenges of development.
I didn’t fully appreciate how much of the programme is designed to enable each individual to learn to the best of their ability until I enrolled in mainstream university to complete a masters’ degree. In mainstream university you receive a number and remain a number – in Kimmage DSC you will always be referred to by your given name and your experiences are as valued as any text book theorist. The year I studied in Kimmage was one year my life where I had the opportunity to enhance my own personal development and learn about how I can contribute to the development of others.
To be part of a college that has a singular focus on development creates strong bonds of friendship and solidarity among students and lecturers that for me, has lasted well beyond the academic year to the present day.
Each and every module on the course provided me with some form of knowledge that I have brought with me to my work. The Politics, Gender and Adult Education modules were woven through my work in Sierra Leone when I worked as a United Nations Volunteer empowering women to become political leaders. The holistic nature of the course ensures that each aspect of development is considered. Bringing such valuable insights in to the field ensures that there is a greater chance of success in the delivery of your work.”