'Significant' scholarship programme announced for refugees and asylum seekers

Dublin City University is Ireland's first 'University of Sanctuary'

A Dublin university is introducing fifteen academic scholarships at undergraduate and postgraduate level for refugees and asylum seekers.

Each of the five faculties at Dublin City University (DCU) is providing a scholarship and the remaining ten scholarships will be offered for study on DCU’s online platform, DCU Connected.

The scholarships will be available to applicants commencing their studies in September 2017.

DCU is the first Irish university to receive the designation of 'University of Sanctuary' awarded by the City of Sanctuary, an organisation that supports efforts in the UK and Ireland to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary.

Other initiatives announce include a book club providing books for people living in direct provision in Mosney, the Langua-Culture Space initiative, where DCU students teach beginner level English to asylum seekers and refugees and DCU Refugee Week – a week of activities to raise awareness among students and staff.

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 added that the designation, while very welcome, is "not a final destination in itself [...] 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."