Explore UCD

UCD Home >

What is UCD doing?

Page updated 12 July 2022

Continue reading to find out more about what UCD is currently doing to support race equality and eliminate discrimination, and our plans for the near future, including a competition sponsored by the EDI Unit and the Race & Ethnic Equality Working Group.

Statement: UCD Commitment to Addressing Racism and Discrimination

Recent events in the United States have shocked members of our University community - staff, students and alumni of all ethnicities and backgrounds. These events highlight both the common experience of racism across different societies and an unwillingness to accept ongoing racial violence, racial harassment and inequality.  As a University committed to advancing society, we will continue to work to address discrimination to eradicate it through education, research and wider social engagement.

UCD is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly regardless of gender, age, race, disability, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, civil status, family status, membership of the travelling community or socio-economic status. We are not complacent and the University recognises the challenges it faces and has a genuine commitment to equality of opportunity for our staff and students, and to promote and maintain an inclusive work and study environment where there is mutual respect and dignity.

All members of the University Community have the right to study or work in an environment free from bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. Students, staff and visitors to UCD can report anonymously through the UCD Report and Support tool. We offer a range of supports and also mechanisms for making formal complaints. 

What is UCD currently doing to support race equality and eliminate discrimination?

As part of the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy and strategy, UCD is undertaking a wide range of initiatives that support and promote equality and diversity broadly, and some of which are specific to ethnicity and race as follows: 

  • Establishment in 2018 of the EDI Multicultural sub-group to support the integration of employees from across the globe with specific priorities around promoting multiculturalism and progressing initiatives around race/ethnicity, faiths and religions and languages.
  • The Multicultural Employee Network of UCD (MENU) was launched in 2018 to provide a network for employees from different cultures and support the integration of employees from all backgrounds.
  • The Institutional Athena SWAN application to be submitted in June 2020 contains a number of actions to progress the University’s work in relation to ethnicity
  • The Dignity and Respect policy is currently being reviewed to ensure that there is a high level of awareness as to the supports available for those experiencing bullying, harassment or sexual harassment, as well as the range of options for informal and formal resolution of complaints across the University’s 10 equality grounds, and to develop a culture where bullying, harassment and sexual harassment is not tolerated. This review also includes recommendations on enhanced monitoring and more transparent reporting and publication of statics relating to complaints to provide a greater understanding of the culture in UCD.
  • A (opens in a new window)Report and Support tool was launched in January 2020 to enable people to report anonymous incidents of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment and which also signposts people to information in relation to the supports and options for resolution.
  • The University for ALL initiative led by Access and Lifelong Learning focuses on increasing inclusion in policies, strategies and the higher education experience of students offering access routes and support for students from a range of underrepresented backgrounds. 
  • Guidance on Access to the UCD Community for Refugees, Asylum Seekers, those with Leave to Remain and those with Subsidiary Protection (2017), has attracted more than 50 students from the groups addressed by the policy with scholarship funding, and UCD was recognised as a University of Sanctuary in 2018. 
  • UCD participates in national networks addressing the full range of EDI issues, including the Irish Universities Association Vice Presidents for EDI Group and the National Athena Swan Committee and its Intersectionality Sub-Committee. 
  • (opens in a new window)is a student-led campaign, established in 2016, to welcome refugees and asylum seekers to Ireland. The group was established in UCD but has since branched out to include NUI Galway, TCD, DCU, TU Dublin and UCC.
    The campaign has four goals:
    1. To increase awareness of the global migration crisis,
    2. To empower the students of Ireland to be agents of change,
    3. To motivate the people of Ireland to support the Irish Government to stand by its commitment of accepting at least 4000 refugees and
    4. To welcome refugees and asylum seekers into every community in Ireland and support their integration into Irish society.
    The student groups run various events and activities throughout the academic year, in order to work towards the goals above. They support and work with community-based organisations who align with these goals.

In its mission to advance learning, research knowledge and public engagement UCD offers a number of educational programmes and modules which seek to advance critical understanding of race and related issues:

  • An MA graduate programme on (opens in a new window)Race, Migration and Decolonial Studies is offered by UCD School of Sociology.
  • Modules on race and related issues, including migration, are offered in UCD School of Education, UCD School of History, Sociology, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, UCD Sutherland School of Law.
  • UCD introduced an undergraduate module on “Black Studies and Critical Race Perspectives in Education” in 2018, the first of its kind in Ireland.
  • Research at UCD includes projects on the Direct Provision system in Ireland, Racism in Ireland, Access to Education for Refugees and European and Global Migration.
  • The EDI Research and Curriculum sub-group is coordinating existing efforts to de-colonise the curriculum and progressing a project at institutional level in relation to this.

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: edi@ucd.ie