This September, 15 asylum seekers and refugees will begin their studies in DCU as part of our University of Sanctuary programme. This is an important step in a journey that began last December when we became Ireland’s first “University of Sanctuary” for our commitment to welcoming asylum seekers and fostering a culture of inclusion.
Each of DCU’s five faculties is offering one scholarship to support an asylum seeker or refugee to study as a full-time student on campus this year. A further ten asylum seekers will also be given the opportunity to study via DCU Connected, the University’s suite of undergraduate and postgraduate distance learning programmes.
Here at DCU Educational Trust, we are currently seeking support for this important programme. Speaking as the first group of students arrived on campus this week, our CEO, Nathalie Walker, commented on the importance of the project:
“The University of Sanctuary provides a bridge that enables young people and their families who are long-term residents in direct provision to pursue a life in Ireland that is both integrated and productive through participation in third level education.
“We are seeking partners to support the funding of these scholarships this year and in future years. The gifts will cover the costs of transportation, meals and essential items such as laptops and textbooks which are integral to student life, ensuring that students have the opportunity to focus on learning and discovery, free from financial anxiety. ”
The University of Sanctuary programme for 2017 will also include a number of complementary activities such as a book club for people living in direct provision in Mosney, a Langua-Culture space initiative where DCU students will teach beginner level English to asylum seekers and refugees, an awareness raising DCU Refugee Week and an inaugural University of Sanctuary lecture.
If you would like to find out how you can support this programme, please contact Charlie Lamson, Director of Development at Charlie.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0 1 700 5467.