NUI Galway has achieved a benchmark in its approach to inclusivenessby being designated as a University of Sanctuary.
The University of Sanctuary initiative aims to promote the inclusion of International Protection Applicants, refugees and Irish Travellers within the higher education system.
The initiative is organised by Places of Sanctuary Ireland, a network of groups in local communities which share the objectives of promoting a culture of welcome and inclusiveness across Irish society.
heir University of Sanctuary initiative encourage and celebrate the good practice of universities, colleges and institutes welcoming refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants into their university communities in meaningful ways.
President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said that the University of Sanctuary status means responding to issues affecting society such as integrating new communities, demolishing barriers to education, and eliminating discrimination.
“It is also an exemplar of our values as they have emerged in our university strategy, in particular our values of respect and inclusiveness,” he added.
“As such, our designation as a University of Sanctuary is a distinctive signal of the character of NUI Galway, seeing ourselves as part of and not apart from our wider society.”
While this programme places its emphasis on international migrants in many places, the steering committee for this initiative at NUIG also included Irish Travellers in its remit.
It had a focus on the promotion of Irish Traveller culture as an innate and positive element of Irish society, and to address the low levels of participation at second and third-level education amongst Irish Travellers.
“On behalf of our University community, I look forward to working with all of our communities to make Galway city and county a ‘Community of Sanctuary’ over the coming year,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh added.
To celebrate the official designation, NUI Galway will host a designation ceremony on Thursday, November 21.