University of Sanctuary

DCU’s University of Sanctuary programme welcomes refugees and asylum seekers into the university community and fosters a culture of inclusion for all. Since we became Ireland’s first University of Sanctuary in 2016, we have provided 42 scholarships together with holistic supports that enable asylum seekers to overcome financial and logistical obstacles to enrolling in higher education. Scholarships are complemented by research, outreach and community engagement activities such as student-led activities during DCU Refugee Week, and the MELLIE English language and cultural exchange project.

There are currently over 11,000 asylum seekers living in Ireland’s direct provision system. Despite some recent policy changes, many still face significant barriers to entering higher education and employment, such as the requirement to pay international fees of €15,000 per year, and practical challenges with paperwork, transport and access to technology. Without additional support, university education is not an option for most.

DCU is offering five postgraduate scholarships in the 2022/23 academic year for refugees and protection applicants who are not eligible for state support. These scholarships at postgraduate level will enable awardees to achieve a qualification that will help them to begin their new lives in Ireland and contribute their skills and expertise to our society.

Meet our Sanctuary Scholars

Finding Sanctuary: Anne’s Story

Anne came to Ireland from Nigeria to seek asylum in 2016. She has lived in the direct provision system since...
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A Second Chance in Life – Sisa’s Story

Sisa Bhebhe came to Ireland from Zimbabwe in 2013 as an asylum seeker. In September 2018, Sisa was able to...
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Shepherd’s Story

Shepherd moved to Ireland in 2007 from Zimbabwe, fleeing political persecution and violence under the regime of Robert Mugabe and...
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