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Scholarships to be given to people in Direct Provision as UL becomes a University of Sanctuary

Seventeen academic scholarships will be made available to applicants aged over 22 and living in direct provision.

Image: Alena 11/Shutterstock

UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK has been designated as a “University of Sanctuary” in recognition of its initiatives welcoming asylum seekers and refugees into its university community.

The university is awarding 17 academic scholarships to people aged over 22 who live in Direct Provision.

Dr Mairead Moriarty, Chair of the University of Limerick’s Sanctuary steering committee said:

The current refugee crisis tests the inner strength of our educational culture. At the University of Limerick we firmly believe that a University education should be a possibility for all.

“We have been committed to providing access to our University for people from all backgrounds and we are delighted to extend this to people currently living in Direct Provision through our announcement of 17 sanctuary scholarships.”

President of UL, Dr Des Fitzgerald made the announcement at today’s Department of Justice and Equality citizen ceremony, hosted by the university.

He said: “In being designated as a University of Sanctuary, UL has committed to a three-year action plan to promote access and to integrate those from a refugee and asylum background into third level education.”

“We will use this award to be a regional leader in promoting a culture of welcome, and to provide a space for the celebration of the richness and diversity a multilingual and multicultural group brings to our community, both culturally and economically,” he said.

The University of Sanctuary award will be officially presented to UL on UN World Refugee Day tomorrow.

Most of the 17 will begin the Mature Student Access Certificate (MSAC) in September, for the academic year 2017/18.

MSAC is a one year full-time pre-degree course for mature students who want to develop their learning skills, and study foundation level academic studies, before applying directly for a degree programme.

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Last December, Dublin City University was the first in Ireland to have been designated as a University of Sanctuary.

Fifteen academic scholarships were made available to applicants who are currently in Ireland either as asylum seekers or refugees.

The designation is 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.

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