The University of Sanctuary Campaign aims to increase public awareness of both the global refugee crisis and Traveller-specific issues across campus, in an effort to address the low levels of participation of both minority groups in higher education. Both groups are too frequently excluded from participation in education due to iniquitous societal barriers, and we feel that through our actions we can make NUI Galway a much more inclusive and equitable campus.
Our collaborative campaign seeks to create, nurture, and maintain a friendly and welcoming environment on campus, especially for those in Direct Provision and members of the Travelling community.
This project is coordinated by Aidan Harte and has brought together a vast array of stakeholders comitted to inclusion including representatives from the Office of the Vice President for Equality & Diversity, the College of Science, the College of Medicine, Nursing, & Health Sciences, the College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies, the College of Business, Public Policy, & Law, the Access Office, the Community Knowledge Initiative, the Students’ Union, the Fáilte Refugees Society, various NUI Galway student services offices, the Great Western and the Eglinton Direct Provision centres, the Galway Integration Consortium, the Galway Anti-Racism Network, and AMACH LGBT+ Galway.
The initiative aims to bring inclusion and awareness training to staff and students at NUI Galway with a particular focus on the barriers faced by refugees and individuals in the Direct Provision system as well as members of the Traveller community. The end goal is to provide scholarships, bursaries, fee waivers and/or grants to students, allowing access to higher education. We want to create, nurture, and sustain a campus environment of equity and inclusion where any student, regardless of individual circumstance or barrier, can feel safe and welcome to pursue their right to education.