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DCU Refugee Week highlights achievements of DCU’s University of Sanctuary to date

DCU Refugee Week highlights achievements of DCU’s University of Sanctuary to date

Dublin City University today launched its annual Refugee Week, which aims to promote social inclusion throughout the University and raise awareness of the challenges facing people living in direct provision.

Refugee Week 2019, which runs until Friday 1st February, will celebrate a number of achievements of DCU’s University of Sanctuary since its designation in 2016, including:

  • A total of 42 students enrolled in programmes to date across DCU Connected, Future Learn and campus-based programmes.

  • A further 70 completed programmes through MELLIE (Migrant English Language, Literacy and Intercultural Education), a project which runs for 11 weeks with group sessions taking place weekly at DCU.  

Current issues and challenges of those living in direct provision centres with also be highlighted at the launch, with an important contribution from University of Sanctuary scholarship recipient Shepherd Machaya - a second year student who is currently living in direct provision and who has been served with a deportation order.

Speaking about DCU Refugee Week, President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith, said:

“As Ireland’s first designated University of Sanctuary, Refugee Week is one of a number of initiatives that DCU is committed to on an annual basis. Our aim is to welcome asylum seekers and refugees into the university community and promote a culture of inclusion for all.

This week is important for us as it brings the DCU community together to build new links with our refugee and immigrant communities, especially those in Direct Provision. I am grateful to Shepherd for his contribution at today’s launch as it reminds us of the extent of the challenges faced on a daily basis and the work still required in order to secure equal access to higher education for asylum seekers.”

A variety of cultural and sporting activities have been planned throughout all three DCU campuses, including:

  • DCU University of Sanctuary annual lecture, in association with IbBy Ireland, on the Silent Book project will take place on Friday evening in the Seamus Heaney Theatre, DCU St. Patrick’s Campus.

  • Syrian architects' Art and Design exhibition, showcasing the work of graduate Syrian architects from Aleppo who completed their studies through the war. It takes place prior to the Silent Book keynote lecture on Friday at 5.30pm at the same venue.

  • Launch of 'Asylum Narratives' special issue of the Journal Studies in Arts and Humanities, Wednesday 6pm Taylor's Hall, Dublin 8 based on colloquium hosted by DCU's University of Sanctuary in 2017.

For further information about DCU Refugee week or DCU University of Sanctuary, visit

28th January, 2019