Trinity has been awarded the status of University of Sanctuary for its work in promoting the integration, inclusion and welfare of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants.
The status is awarded by People of Sanctuary Ireland. The organisation’s website states that the purpose of the initiative is to “encourage and celebrate the good practice of universities, colleges and other education institutes welcoming refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants into their university communities and fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion for all those seeking sanctuary”.
The recognition is something that College has been working towards for three years, having established a participatory advisory group in February of 2018 with the aim of applying for the status of a University of Sanctuary.
Welcoming the announcement, Trinity’s Equality Unit stated that they were “proud and delighted” that Trinity had received the status.
Six other higher education institutions in Ireland have already obtained the designation of the title, including University College Dublin (UCD), the University of Limerick (UL), University College Cork (UCC), National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway), and Maynooth University.
Dublin City University (DCU) was the first university to be granted University of Sanctuary status in December 2016, and Athlone IT is the first College of Sanctuary in Ireland.
In April of 2019, Trinity’s University Council voted to approve four fully-funded scholarships per year for asylum seekers to study at Trinity. All four scholarships were awarded in this the second year of the programme, with only two of the four having been awarded in the initiative’s inaugural year.
These scholarships provide the potential for four students from direct provision to be admitted to Trinity free of charge, depending on them securing places through the Central Applications Office (CAO). The scholarships were an important part of Trinity’s bid to secure the recognition from People of Sanctuary Ireland.