The University Council voted today to approve four scholarships per year for asylum seekers to study in Trinity.
These scholarships provide the potential for four students from direct provision to be admitted to Trinity in September free of charge, depending on them securing places through the Central Applications Office (CAO). The university would previously have required these students to pay international fees to study at Trinity.
The initiative is set to last four years, with the university providing four scholarships per year. This decision comes three months after College established a working group on offering undergraduate places to students living in direct provision.
In a Facebook post announcing the decision, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) wrote that the decision “comes after years of work by students and staff”. They added that “the Students’ Union ensured that this remained on the agenda” and that they are “delighted to see the initiative come to fruition.”
Speaking to Trinity News, TCDSU President Shane De Rís said: “We are delighted to see this pass by Council. Over the years students have been instrumental in highlighting this issue. Access to education is a crucial right that is denied to those in the asylum process and this initiative opens Trinity’s gates to those in need.”
De Rís noted the decision as a “testament to the work that has been done in college”, adding that there is however “much more to do to bring about the end of the inhumane system that is Direct Provision.”
Trinity’s Provost Patrick Pendergast tweeted his support for the decision saying “congrats to @tcdsu and all for swift response to this injustice”.
Trinity is in the process of working towards the status of a University of Sanctuary, a status that has already been awarded to several other Irish universities by People of Sanctuary Ireland for their work in promoting the integration, inclusion and welfare of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants.