Dublin City University has been designated as a “University of Sanctuary” in recognition of a range of initiatives demonstrating commitment to welcoming asylum seekers and refugees into the university community and to fostering a culture of inclusion for all.
DCU is the first Irish university to receive this designation, awarded by the City of Sanctuary, an organisation that supports efforts in the UK and Ireland to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary.
Among a range of initiatives announced by the university, DCU has confirmed that fifteen academic scholarships, each available at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, will be made available to applicants who are currently in Ireland either as asylum seekers or refugees.
The announcement was made by the President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith today (Wednesday, December 21st).
Each of the five faculties at DCU is providing a scholarship and the remaining ten scholarships will be offered for study on DCU’s online platform, DCU Connected.
The scholarships will be available to applicants commencing their studies in September 2017.
DCU’s programme of initiatives for 2017 also includes:
· DCU Mosney Book Club (providing books for people living in direct provision in Mosney, who cannot borrow books from public libraries).
· The Langua-Culture Space initiative, where DCU students teach beginner level English to asylum seekers and refugees.
· DCU Refugee Week – a week of activities to raise awareness among students and staff
· The inaugural “University of Sanctuary” Lecture.
· A range of research projects tackling key issues such as migrant integration into the school system and intercultural support for Syrian refugees in Ireland.
· Working with DCU Student Spinout Social Enterprise (House of Akina) to support “University of Sanctuary” initiatives.
· Establishment of a “University of Sanctuary” Steering Group, comprising staff and students.
President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith said:
“Dublin City University is pleased and proud to have been accorded the status of a “University of Sanctuary” and it is a fitting recognition of the efforts, across all elements of the DCU community, to foster a spirit of inclusion and welcome to people who are seeking asylum in Ireland or reside here under refugee status.
Our designation as a “University of Sanctuary”, while very welcome, is not a final destination in itself, however, rather it is an important marker on a journey. We are driven on this journey by being true to our values of inclusion and equity of access to education.
I am particularly pleased that the initiatives leading to our recognition were not ‘top down’ but came spontaneously from our student body and staff in their efforts to reach out and support those in the refugee and asylum community.”