University of Limerick (UL) has been awarded University of Sanctuary status by Places of Sanctuary Ireland. The award was presented to UL President, Dr Des Fitzgerald, on the UN World Refugee Day (June 20) from Tiffy Allen, Places of Sanctuary Ireland. Dr Fitzgerald 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."
UL has committed to offering 17 scholarships for refugees and asylum seekers on the Mature Student Access Certificate (MSAC) and the Higher Level Leaving Certificate Mathematics Programme for Adult Learners (HLLCMP). 14 offers for places on the Mature Student Access Certificate are in the process of being issued and the remaining scholarships will be awarded in coming weeks, subject to applicant eligibility for the programme. The MSAC is run by the Mature Student Office and the HLLCMP is run by the Mature Student Office in collaboration with the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB).
All scholarships are being offered to asylum seekers living in direct provision centres.
From next year, refugees and asylum seekers currently in second-level education will also be eligible to apply for scholarships.
Dr Mairead Moriarty, Chair of the University of Limerick’s Sanctuary steering committee stated that, “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”.
UL joins DCU as a University of Sanctuary.