Dublin City University (DCU) is set to introduce fifteen academic scholarships for refugees and asylum seekers from September 2017 onwards. The scholarships will be provided at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
With the establishment of this programme, DCU will become the first Irish university to claim the title of ‘University of Sanctuary.’ The title is awarded by the organisation City of Sanctuary who advocate a culture of hospitality and welcome towards refugees in the UK and Ireland.
Other initiatives regarding the issue of refugees and asylum seekers will also be launched by the university. These include DCU Refugee Week, which will involve running activities with the aim of raising awareness among students and staff of the university. A book club for those living in direct provision is also being launched along with an education programme in which DCU students will teach beginner level English to asylum seekers and refugees.
President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith, said: “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.”
He also said that the title was “not a final destination in itself, rather it is an important marker on a journey.”