Dublin City University’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. The so-called ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe in 2015 posed serious challenges in terms of the role and response of a modern engaged university in this European setting. A group of like-minded people across the institution have demonstrated clearly DCU’s determination to focus on social justice and social innovation. The whole 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.                                

We are delighted to be leading a major Third-Level initiative to highlight the roles that higher education institutions can play in responding to the challenges and opportunities associated with refugees and asylum-seekers in Ireland, Europe and the wider world.                                                              

In Ireland there are currently 5,318 people living in Direct Provision. The Irish Government has also committed to receive 4,000 programme refugees under European Union resettlement agreements. There are differing issues and requirements for these two groups and through the nine commitments made by DCU, outlined in this report, we have 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 year and as such, allows third-level education to provide a positive reply which creatively meets the opportunities and needs of some of those refugees and asylum-seekers, arriving here on our native shore.