The current refugee crisis tests the inner strength of the academic space. 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. It is within this spirit of Welcome that we sought recognition as a University of Sanctuary. The designation is built on an existing history of engagement with refuges and asylum seekers in a number of programmes of education and research. For example, many refugees and asylum seekers have been involved in programmes captured under the UL Engage umbrella and this designation is a more formal commitment to enhancing access to a University education for refugees and asylum seekers.
As a University of Sanctuary we focus on enabling access to third level through a number of financial support plans and programmes to aid with the transition to University. We also recognise that as an academic institution we provide a safe space in which issues which are directly impacting on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers can be discussed.
The designation commits the University to a three year action plan with a focus on encouraging, promoting and enabling refugees and asylum seekers to access third-level education through various activities and Scholarship programmes. The University of Limerick will also become a key driver in raising awareness of particular issues impacting on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers as well as promoting a spirit of inclusion and welcome in the University, the city of Limerick and beyond. This is a commitment by the University of Limerick to a three-year action plan to promote access to educational programmes/courses in third level for those from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds and to contribute to the promotion of their integration in Ireland. The 3-year action plan has six key drivers. They are:
- Sanctuary bursaries to refugees and asylum seekers
- Formation of the UL University of Sanctuary steering group
- English Language provision to refugees and asylum seekers, including CV planning and interview skills
- Refugee Week events in the University
- Establishing a regional HE (Higher Education) research network for refugees and asylum seekers
- To be the key driver in the movement to have Limerick City and Region designated as a Place of Sanctuary
View details of the scholarship, eligibility criteria, guidelines on how to apply, and download application forms.