STUDENTS sometimes get a bad press, but now their hard work and achievements across a range of extra-curricular activities are being recognised by a new awards scheme.
The Student Achievement Awards pay tribute to students for work ranging from volunteering and political activism to newspapers, websites and campaigns.
The scheme is organised by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and 20 awards were handed out last night at the inaugural prize-giving, hosted by comedian Colin Murphy.
USI president John Logue said the awards were "long overdue."
"Our young people are engaging with projects that raise hundreds of thousands for charity, they're giving thousands of hours to volunteering and they're creating their own business and media enterprises. This work should be recognised and encouraged by leaders in relevant sectors and we're delighted that so many have agreed to give up their time to participate in the event."
Irish Independent Operations Editor Ian Mallon presented the award for Publication of the Year to 'Trinity News'.
Poignantly, the award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Life was awarded posthumously to former IT Sligo student, Luke Savage, who was severely disabled and died suddenly last year.
According to his citation, "he gave himself to everyone. Whether it was a hug or a prayer in times of need, a supporting phone call when things weren't going so well or trying to heal rifts between people that mattered to him; he was constantly thinking of others."