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DCU University of Sanctuary Poster


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Poster presented at Conference on Higher Education and Refugees in the Mediterranean Region. Beirut, 26th September.

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DCU University of Sanctuary Poster

  1. 1. BRIEF PRESENTATION BACKGROUND/CONTEXT Dublin City University (DCU) was granted the status of “University of Sanctuary” in December 2016. It is the first Irish university to receive this designaEon, awarded by the City of Sanctuary, an organisaEon that supports efforts in the UK and Ireland to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary. The designaEon was in recogniEon of a range of projects by Dublin City University demonstraEng commitment to welcoming asylum seekers and refugees into the university community and to fostering a culture of inclusion for all. President of DCU, 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 fiQng recogniEon 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. Our designaEon as a “University of Sanctuary”, while very welcome, is not a final desEnaEon 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 educaEon. I am parEcularly pleased that the iniEaEves leading to our recogniEon were not ‘top down’ but came spontaneously from our student body and staff in their efforts to reach out and support those in the refugee and asylum community.” OBJECTIVES The main objecEve of the DCU University of Sanctuary iniEaEve is to provide a welcoming environment and foster a culture of inclusion for all. More specifically, the aims are: • To provide a whole of university approach to supporEng asylum seekers and refugees. • To provide different pathways to further educaEon and university study for asylum seekers and refugees. • To raise awareness amongst staff, students and community stakeholders of the challenges facing asylum seekers and refugees . ACTIVITIES The range of initiatives by DCU include: • Development of a University of Sanctuary resource pack • The Langua-Culture Space iniEaEve, where DCU students teach beginner level English to asylum seekers and refugees. • The DCU Mosney Book Club providing books for people living in direct provision who cannot borrow books from public libraries. • DCU Refugee Week – a week of acEviEes to raise awareness among students and staff. • The inaugural “University of Sanctuary” Lecture. • A Head Start Online MOOC in partnership with the German Kiron agency designed to prepare refugees for further study. • A range of research projects tackling key issues such as migrant integraEon into the school system and intercultural support. • Working with DCU Student Spinout Social Enterprise (House of Akina) to support “University of Sanctuary” iniEaEves. • Establishment of a “University of Sanctuary” Steering Group, comprising staff and students. • Development of a MA in Refugee IntegraEon through the Faculty of HumaniEes and Social Sciences. • Five scholarships for undergraduate study, with one provided by each of the five DCU faculEes. • Ten scholarships through DCU’s online educaEon plaaorm known as DCU Connected. TARGET GROUP The target groups include: • People who are seeking asylum in Ireland or reside under refugee status • DCU staff and students to raise awareness and foster a culture of inclusion for all. • Wider community stakeholders to seek support for DCU’s iniEaEves for asylum seekers and refugees. LOCATION Ireland, Dublin DURATION 2016 - Ongoing FUNDED BY IMPLEMENTED BY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CONTACT INFORMATION Professor Mark Brown Email: WEBSITE hcp:// SOCIAL MEDIA @DublinCityUni July 2017, Dublin, DCU Connected Scholarships 24th March 2017, Dublin, DCU MELLIE Project RESULTS / LESSONS LEARNED To date the DCU University of Sanctuary iniEaEve has contributed to a becer understanding of the challenges of fostering a culture of inclusion for all and resulted in the following lessons: • A coordinated whole of university approach is required which is overseen by a diverse steering group of stakeholders including both staff and students. • There is a significant gap the current provision of supports and educaEonal opportuniEes for asylum seekers and refugees in Ireland. • Efforts to support asylum seekers and refugees need to be mulE-dimensional and situted in local contexts. • There is considerable demand from asylum seekers and refugees for scholarships for university study, especially through more flexible models of online distance learning. • There is a need to provide access to textbooks, laptop computers, internet access, subsidized travel and targeted learning support as part of any scholarship package. INFORMATION September 2017, Dublin , University of Sanctuary Lecture Conference on Higher EducaGon and Refugees in the Mediterranean region, 26-27 September 2017 - Beirut, Lebanon 20th December, 2016, Dublin 5 x Scholarships for Campus-based Study 10 x Scholarships for Online Study DCU University of Sanctuary Dublin City University