To mark World Refugee Day today, NUI Galway has announced it will expand its University of Sanctuary Scholarship Programme in the coming year from nine scholarships to twelve.
Scholarships for both undergrad and postgrad courses will be open to asylum seekers, refugees, vulnerable immigrant groups, and Irish Travellers.
As a designated University of Sanctuary, NUI Galway says that it is committed to addressing low levels of participation at third level amongst vulnerable groups.
Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: “In our recently-launched strategy, Shared Vision, Shaped by Values, we as NUI Galway, and as a recently-designated University of Sanctuary, committed ourselves to the public good and to shared values of respect, openness, excellence and sustainability.
“We committed ourselves to respect all members of our community and to be open to – to embrace – all of our communities, including and especially those who have not found our context to be their own.”
He said that they stand with people in the local community and across the world who have ‘felt the pressure of discrimination and dispossession on their necks’.
“We stand and we are not silent. We stand and we stand in solidarity, knowing that we need to do right and that we need to sometimes do better too.
“Black Lives Matter. This matters to us all.”
Professor Anne Scott, NUI Galway’s Vice President for Equality and Diversity, added that the COVID-19 crisis has further exposed divisions in our society between those who can access educational resources and those who due to social circumstances are struggling to reach their potential.
“The University’s commitment to expanding this scholarship scheme at a time when we face straitened financial resources highlights our belief that now more than ever we need to offer greater supports to broaden access to education and tackle inequality,” she said.