DCU announces scholarship programme for refugees and asylum seekers

By Conor Mallon

DCU is set to provide fifteen scholarships to refugees, as it becomes the first Irish university to be designated as a ‘University of Sanctuary’.

The award was given in recognition of an array of initiatives carried out at the university which demonstrated its commitment to welcoming refugees and asylum seekers into third-level education.

Most notable among these initiatives is the provision of fifteen academic scholarships to refugees or asylum seekers currently based in Ireland. The scholarships will be available to applicants beginning their studies in September 2017, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Each of the five faculties at DCU will provide one scholarship each, with the remaining ten being made available to students who decide to study via DCU’s online platform, DCU Connected.

The initiative was announced by President of the University, Professor Brian MacCraith, on Wednesday 21st December.

“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,” MacCraith said.

DCU has many other initiatives in its programme for assisting refugees and asylum seekers in 2017.

The DCU Mosney Book Club will aim to provide books to those residing in direct provision in Mosney, now one of Europe’s largest privately owned refugee centres.

Currently, refugees cannot access books in public libraries. The Langua-Culture Space initiative will see DCU students teach beginner level English to asylum seekers. These are only a sample of some of the initiatives which resulted in DCU being awarded this title.

“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,” MacCraith said.

This accolade was presented to DCU by City of Sanctuary, an organisation that aims to provide a warm, hospitable environment within the UK and Ireland for incoming asylum seekers.

Conor Mallon

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