Dublin City University (DCU) has recently been designated as the first Irish University of Sanctuary.
The award was given to DCU by the City of Sanctuary, an organisation that aims to support efforts made by the UK and Ireland to welcome asylum seekers and refugees into their country and to build a culture of welcoming hospitality for those seeking sanctuary.
The award was given to DCU in December of last year after it was seen to have made strong efforts and commitments to welcoming refugees and asylum seekers into the university.
As well as this, DCU now offers fifteen scholarships to refugees and asylum seekers.
Each five faculties (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, DCU Business School, Engineering and Computing, Science and Health and DCU Institute of Education) are offering one scholarship and the remaining ten scholarships will offer a place to study on DCU’s online platform, DCU Connected.
The fifteen scholarships will be available for those commencing studies at DCU in September 2017 to apply for.
President of DCU, Brian McCraith recently stated that “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.”
President McCraith also said that although this is a great step forward, it is not the end, but rather the beginning of a new journey of equality in access to education.
“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.”
DCU also has a number of plans for the upcoming academic year in terms of incorporating asylum seekers and refugees into campus life including a DCU refugee week during which a number of activities to raise awareness among students and staff will take place.
Also among the plans for 2017 include a Langua-Culture Space initiative during which asylum seekers and refugees will be taught beginner level English by DCU students, an inaugural “University of Sanctuary” lecture and the establishment of a “University of Sanctuary” Steering group.