DCU and FutureLearn, the global leader in online social learning, have today announced 30 refugee scholarships.
Marking World Refugee Day (June 20th), the co-sponsorship is part of a joint DCU FutureLearn scholarship initiative, and will enable refugees and asylum seekers to pursue certificates of completion from a wide range of courses offered on FutureLearn’s online platform.
FutureLearn boasts 8 million learners globally and partners with almost 150 universities, institutions, professional bodies and businesses around the world.
Among the courses offered on the FutureLearn platform is DCU’s ‘Irish 101’, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) launched earlier this year, and one of the first of its kind to offer Irish language learning globally. ‘Irish 101’ is co-funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the 20-year Strategy For The Irish Language 2010-2030, supported by the National Lottery.
Announcing the 30 new scholarships, Mark Lester, Director of Partnerships Development at FutureLearn, said: “DCU has long been a champion of online education in Europe, and we are proud to be hosting its ‘Irish Language and Culture’ and ‘High Performance Computing in the Cloud’ courses. We are delighted to be building upon our partnership with DCU in providing 30 scholarships for refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland, who will have an opportunity to access hundreds of flexible learning options.”
Prof. Mark Brown, Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning at DCU, commented: “DCU has, for many years, been a leader in developing new models of open and online learning as it endeavours to expand access to higher education. As Ireland’s first ‘University of Sanctuary’, our partnership with FutureLearn builds on our existing scholarships established last year to support Irish asylum seekers and refugees to complete online degrees through DCU Connected. While today’s announcement coincides with World Refugee Day, the latest DCU FutureLearn Scholarships are further evidence of our ongoing commitment to fostering a culture of inclusion. They mark an exciting new chapter to help enrich the lives and opportunities of Ireland’s refugee community.”
Associate Professor, Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl, Head of the Ideas Lab and the Fáilte ar Líne Project, at the National Institute for Digital Learning in DCU, remarked:
“We are delighted that ‘Irish 101: Introduction to Irish Language and Culture’ is a core component of this joint DCU & FutureLearn initiative. Not only will it support this community of learners as they connect with the Irish language and Irish culture, but it will also provide them with an opportunity to engage with learners from around the globe.”