University College Cork (UCC) has been designated a University of Sanctuary after awarding seven refugees and asylum seekers full scholarships. The seven recipients will be entitled to free tuition from September 2018 and a number of annual bursaries covering travel expenses.
Commenting on the news, Professor Caroline Fennell, Senior Vice President of UCC, said: “Universities provide a key space in which to challenge societal assumptions and to support and highlight work aimed at fostering a culture of welcome for asylum seekers and refugees.”
Fennell continued: “Through the range of initiatives cultivated over many years in UCC, we are dedicated to providing spaces to learn about what sanctuary means, to develop a sustainable culture of welcome and to share our practices and initiatives with communities and other higher education institutions.”
UCC is the third Irish university to be designated a University of Sanctuary; Dublin City University (DCU) was designated the title in 2016 and the University of Limerick (UL) in July of last year.
The University of Sanctuary status was awarded to UCC by People of Sanctuary Ireland, a network of groups which share the objectives of promoting the integration, inclusion and welfare of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants, by encouraging every sector of society to make a practical commitment to becoming places of welcome and safety. Trinity has yet to be awarded the status.