DCU and Ornua announce University of Sanctuary scholarship partnership
Ornua, Ireland’s largest exporter of dairy products and owner of the iconic Kerrygold brand, today revealed that they are gifting one student, through the University of Sanctuary at Dublin City University, a scholarship to complete an undergraduate degree. Sisa Bhebhe from Zimbabwe, the recipient of the scholarship, had the opportunity to meet members of the Ornua team for the first time at a gathering in DCU today.
As part of DCU’s commitment as a University of Sanctuary, the University is offering truly transformative opportunities that enable asylum seekers to study at DCU. These students will receive fee-waivers, funded by DCU and will be integrated into the existing support infrastructures for students from disadvantaged backgrounds at DCU, through the renowned DCU Access Service and the DCU Inter Faith Centre.
Due to Ornua’s generous donation of a financial scholarship, Sisa has the opportunity to focus on learning and discovery, without the added pressure of financial stress and strain. Sisa began her course in BSc Accounting & Finance at DCU in September 2018.
In December 2016, DCU became Ireland’s first ever ‘University of Sanctuary’ highlighting the University’s commitment to welcoming asylum seekers and refugees into higher education and fostering a culture of inclusion.
The University of Sanctuary demonstrates DCU’s desire to provide a transformative student experience which pursues active engagement with our communities. The University welcomes Ornua’s support in helping DCU to transform lives and society through higher education.
Majella Darcy, Chief People Officer, Ornua spoke about what is it that inspires them to support DCU’s University of Sanctuary: “Ornua is delighted to support DCU’s University of Sanctuary programme. This initiative links to the commitments Ornua have made as part of ‘Our Way Matters’ – which is our approach to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Our aim is to be an employer of choice, providing excellent development opportunities for our global workforce. So, it is fitting that we are extending our passion for education and learning to someone from outside the organisation. We are proud to provide the funding that will allow Sisa to further her education and aid her integration into Irish society.”
Rachael Dunne, Director of Development at DCU Educational Trust, commented on the importance of the University of Sanctuary and welcomed Ornua’s support: “The University of Sanctuary creates hope and opportunities for young people who are residents in direct provision. It allows them to integrate into society through participation in third level education, helping them to pursue a fulfilling life in Ireland. The University of Sanctuary allows these young students to feel welcomed into the DCU community.
“We are currently seeking partners to support the funding of this programme this year. Our aim is to ensure that students on the University of Sanctuary programme have the opportunity to focus on learning and discovery, free from financial stress and strain. DCU hopes, with the help of our partners, to support these students by covering everyday student essentials such as transport costs, meals, textbooks and laptops. We would like to extend our thanks to Ornua for the gift of this generous scholarship.”