University of Sanctuary Online Scholars join us for the Launch of DCU’s “Refugee Week”

On Monday 29th January the Open Education team in the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) was delighted to host our 10 “University of Sanctuary” scholarship recipients studying online through DCU Connected. The students who travelled from different locations around Ireland were invited to Dublin to participate in the University’s launch of “Refugee Week”.



A range of activities taking place over the week will help raise awareness of the issues and challenges facing people who are currently living in Direct Provision centres in Ireland. The Student’s Union, for example, is leading the #€21.60 campaign with a number of students accepting the challenge of living on €21.60 per week and documenting their experiences on social media. The launch also coincided with the release of the DCU University of Sanctuary Annual Report which provides an update on a number of strategic initiatives DCU has adopted over the past 12 months, and beyond, to support asylum seekers and refugees.

IMG_5423.JPGDuring the launch our University of Sanctuary Online Scholars were pleased to meet Professor Brian MacCraith, DCU’s President, and share some of their personal stories of the joys and challenges of learning online with the wider DCU community.
IMG_5421.JPGThe opportunity to come together as DCU’s inaugural group of University of Sanctuary Online Scholars also provided a good chance to reflect on their learning experiences, celebrate their individual and collective successes, and share ideas and suggestions for the next semester. By the end of the day our team was both humbled and inspired by the drive, passion and strong commitment shown by our Online Scholars as they strive to improve their lives and in their own words, “become valued citizens who make a significant contribution to Ireland”.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge the support our University of Sanctuary Scholars have received from eBay, Vodafone and the DCU Educational Trust which has contributed to their successful learning experiences over the first Semester. We look forward to hearing more success stories as the students continue their study and news of further scholarships for online study for asylum seekers and refugees.

University of Sanctuary Scholarships for Online Study for Refugees

As Ireland’s first formally designated University of Sanctuary, DCU is pleased to annouced 10 Scholarships for Irish-based refugees and asylum seekers to support online study through DCU Connected. The DCU Connected University of Sanctuary Scholarships cover the costs for an online undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study (up to 60 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credit points) which can be shown to clearly benefit recipients in advancing their personal and professional goals. In this respect the DCU Connected University of Sanctuary Scholarships are intended to be truly transformative, says Professor Mark Brown, Director, National Institute for Digital Learning.


What Can You Study?

Applicants can apply for a Scholarship for online study to:

– complete 60 ECTS credit points (or less) for a full qualification (e.g., Certificate in Information Technology; Certificate in Software Systems & Entrepreneurship); or

– complete 60 ECTS credit points towards an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification (e.g., Diploma, Degree, Masters).

DCU ConnectedThe DCU Connected website contains the list of online courses and programmes available to select from under this category of University of Sanctuary Scholarships.

Application Process

There are three steps to the application process:

Step 1 – Expression of Interest Form (Click on this link)

The first step involves submitting the initial Expression of Interest Form to establish your eligibility to apply for the scholarship. As part of this process all applicants will be required to provide evidence of their ability to meet the English language requirements for studying at DCU. The deadline for submitting this form is Monday 14th August, 2017.

Step 2 – Full Scholarship Application Form (Click on this link)

If your initial expression of interest meets the elibility criteria, then the next step is to prepare and submit the Full Scholarship Application Form. The deadline for submitting this form is Monday 21st August, 2017.

Step 3 – Formal Registration 

All applicants will receive feedback on their applications and if you are successful in being awarded a DCU Connected Scholarship, then the next step is to formally register for your chosen programme of study. Once all the relevant documentation has been processed you are ready to embark on what we hope will be a transformative and life changing experience as you study through DCU Connected.


Further Information

If you require further information about the DCU Connected University of Sanctuary Scholarships, then please email our Scholarships Co-ordinator, Colum Foley, <>.

Also when thinking about applying to study online we encourage prospective applicants to complete the “Am I Ready for Study?” online quiz and the “Do I Have Enough Time?” calculator. These tools, and others on the same website, may be useful in helping you to reflect on your decision to undertake further study.