Dr Nina Lueck and Prof. Oonagh Breen present at this years Marie Curie conference hosted by UCD

During the summer trimester, Professor Oonagh Breen (PI) and Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow Dr Nina Lueck participated in the European Research Executive Agency’s (REA) two days Monitoring Mission for MSCA Individual Fellows.

This year’s monitoring meeting was jointly hosted by UCD Research and REA’s project officers from Brussels. 

Seven of UCD’s MSCA Fellows from a range of disciplines (such as medicine, history, agriculture, law) presented and discussed their work. 

Nina Lueck presented preliminary findings of problem-centred and narrative interviews she has conducted with 52 refugees and asylum seekers about their experience in accessing third level education in Ireland.

The preliminary findings illustrated financial and non-financial barriers to enter universities, such as non-eligibility for scholarships, the cost of transport to and from colleges, the distance between accommodation centres and universities, the inability to change hostels for educational reasons, denial of work permits, insecurity and long waiting times concerning their legal status, the ineptitude of direct provision for students, language barriers and dealing with health issues such as combatting trauma.

Her presentation also highlighted positive aspects such as the tailored support by university staff (both academic and administrative) and members of voluntary organisations.