NUI Galway Becomes a Designated University of Sanctuary

Sep 19 2019 Posted: 09:05 IST

NUI Galway has become a designated University of Sanctuary, a movement aimed at promoting the inclusion of International Protection Applicants, refugees and Irish Travellers within the community.

Places of Sanctuary Ireland (PoSI) is a network of groups in local communities which share the objectives of promoting a culture of welcome and inclusiveness across Irish society for those seeking International Protection in Ireland. Their 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. The University of Sanctuary steering committee at NUI Galway also includes the Irish Traveller community in its remit, with 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.

President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, commented: “The University of Sanctuary responds to many issues that affect and animate Irish society today, including the promotion of meaningful integration for Ireland’s newest communities, breaking down barriers to education, and eliminating discrimination in all its forms. It is also an exemplar of our values as they have emerged in our university strategy, in particular our values of respect and inclusiveness. 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.”

The movement’s placement within the University’s Access Centre gives effect to the commitment to broaden access to university education from under-represented groups, while the involvement of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and its approach to civic engagement ensures that this initiative is sustained well in to the future through the promotion of continued student and staff engagement with the initiative.   

President Ó hÓgartaigh continued: “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.”

To celebrate the official designation, NUI Galway will host a designation ceremony on Thursday, 21 November.


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