UNIVERSITY of Limerick has stepped up its support of Ukrainian refugees in recent weeks with 180 student accommodation units occupied and a range of initiatives under way to welcome refugees arriving on campus.
A Ukraine Response Group, chaired by Global and Community Engagement Vice President Professor Mairead Moriarty, is coordinating support for students directly impacted by the war in Ukraine.
The UL response is in line with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, the IUA, the Irish Refugee Council and the National University of Sanctuary Network.
Colleges across the country are working with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to provide temporary homes for refugees, with 3,700 beds currently available nationwide.
A department spokesperson told the Irish Examiner that more beds will become available later in the summer and exit dates have been agreed “to ensure student accommodation is available ahead of the new academic year”.
“Some of this accommodation is provided by universities and colleges themselves; some are private providers of student accommodation. The department continues to work with accommodation providers to secure additional accommodation over the summer months.”
The student beds are not being treated as a long-term solution, with the Department stating that people staying in student accommodation for the summer months are likely to be moved afterwards.
This was reiterated by the Department of Higher Education which stated that the temporary placement of Ukrainian refugees “will not impact on the supply of accommodation for students for the forthcoming academic year.”