University College Cork (UCC) has been awarded University of Sanctuary status by Places of Sanctuary Ireland. UCC announced that seven scholarships are available for asylum seekers and refugees from September 2018. The scholarships will cover annual fees and tuition, alongside annual bursaries to cover transport and other expenses.
UCC's Senior Vice President, Professor Caroline Fennell stated that "universities provide a key space in which to challenge societal assumptions and to support and highlight work aimed at fostering a culture of welcome for asylum seekers and refugees". Professor Fennell believes the new sanctuary status for UCC is not only a marker of the work that has been achieved in UCC, but an indicator of the need for sustained and creative work that will support refugees and asylum seekers nationally and internationally. Professor Fennell added that "through the range of initiatives cultivated over many years in UCC, we [UCC] are dedicated to providing spaces to learn about what sanctuary means, to develop a sustainable culture of welcome, and to share our practices and initiatives with communities and other higher education institutions”.
The status is a reflection of the hard work of students and staff of UCC, who now join DCU and UL as Universities of Sanctuary.