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.”

-Prof Brian MacCraith (President of DCU), December 2016

Dublin City University was designated a University of Sanctuary in December 2016 in recognition of our commitment to welcome people seeking asylum and refugees into the university community and to foster a culture of inclusion for all.


DCU is the first Irish university to receive this designation, awarded by Places of Sanctuary Ireland, an organisation that supports efforts in Ireland to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary. Among a range of initiatives announced by the university, DCU committed to providing scholarships annually to applicants who are currently living in Direct Provision in Ireland, either as International Protection applicants or refugees.


DCU’s designation as Ireland’s first ‘University of Sanctuary’ is a point of great pride for a university community committed to its vision of transforming lives and societies. A group of like-minded people across the institution have demonstrated clearly DCU’s determination to focus on social justice and social innovation. The University of Sanctuary agenda, as detailed on this site, is evidence of our desire to provide a transformative student experience which pursues active engagement with our communities.                                


In Ireland there are over 11,600 people living in Direct Provision as of 2022. The Irish Government is also committed to receiving programme refugees under European Union resettlement agreements. DCU has sought to provide a variety of responses that can adequately offer the unique expertise of this University.                                     


We are proud to be part of a movement that has grown significantly in Ireland over the course of the past few years and as such, allows third-level education to provide a positive space which creatively meets the opportunities and needs of some of the refugees and asylum-seekers, arriving here.

Places of Sanctuary Ireland

Places of Sanctuary Ireland is a network of groups in towns, cities and local communities which share the objectives of promoting the integration, inclusion and welfare of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants, by encouraging every sector of society to make a practical commitment to becoming places of welcome and safety.