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Program overview:

The main goal of the University of Sanctuary is to establish UCC as a place of sanctuary for asylum seekers and refugees in the Cork region. The program was borne from the belief that Universities provide a key space in which to challenge societal assumptions and to support and highlight work aimed at fostering a culture of welcome for asylum seekers and refugees. Through the range of initiatives cultivated over many years in UCC, the university is dedicated to providing spaces to learn about what sanctuary means, to develop a sustainable culture of welcome, and to share our practices and initiatives with communities and other higher education institutions. In 2014, the University of Sanctuary Program became a formal university wide initiative that is coordinated by a committee, with staff, student and community members involved in co-governing the initiative.

MacJannet Prize Winner 2019

The primary issues addressed through UCC are co-produced with members of the asylum seeking community themselves; including input from local civil society organisations that support asylum seekers, particularly the Migrant Rights Centre, The Irish Immigrant Support Centre, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland and the Cork City of Sanctuary program. This ensures that the program is co-led with community and that there is a coordinated promotion of sanctuary across the Cork area. Learn More.


We are honored to have won the MacJannet Prize; when refugees, asylum seekers, students and staff come together, connections are forged, solidarity emerges and we are all enriched” -Dr Máire Leane, chair of University of Sanctuary Initiative at University College Cork.
“[these students are] infused with passion, energy and a commitment to making a difference and we thank the MacJannet Prize for this fantastic acknowledgment of our collaborative efforts”-  Vera Stojanovic, University College Cork Quercus Active Citizenship Scholar and founder of Better Together.