Friday, January 05, 2018

Apply Now! UCAS University Applications Closing 15th January

Refugees and asylum seekers can go to university but time is running out for 2018/19 entry….


Everyone can go to university in the UK but there are barriers to student finance for some groups.

Refugees have the same status as everyone else living here, while the position for asylum seekers and others is a bit more complex. We’ll explain more in this article and we have a handy guide which will help.

No matter your status it’s certainly worth applying to UCAS, the organisation which oversees applications to universities in the UK – but this must be done by Jan 15th.

Asylum seekers don’t have equal access to university, most are classed as international students which means they are charged higher fees.

They are treated as overseas students and cannot access student finance to cover the cost of tuition or living costs. This means the cost of an education is significantly higher than for home students.

One of STAR’s most successful campaigns – along with NUS – is on Equal Access to higher education for refugees and asylum seekers.

We want people who are in the UK because they are fleeing persecution to be able to join us at university. This will only happen if they are classed as home students and are given access to bursaries and scholarships.


While refugees do qualify as home students, in different parts of the UK the situation varies for two other groups – people granted what’s known as Humanitarian Protection and others given Discretionary Leave to Remain.

In Scotland those in both groups are treated as home students and are able to access student loans and living costs. In Wales and Northern Ireland ‘home student’ status is also granted but it’s not possible to access student loans unless you have three years of ‘ordinary residence’.

In England people with HP status – but not DLR – are classed as ‘home students’.

The good news – and this is where our Equal Access campaign comes in – is there are now around sixty universities which have recognised that this is not a level playing field.

Happily as a result these institutions now provide significant financial help in the form of scholarships, fee waivers or bursaries which go a long way to reducing fees.

They are designed to help and this is working; many asylum seekers and refugees are now studying as a result.

As STAR’s Chief Executive – Emma Williams – said: “Our Equal Access campaign is bringing down the barriers to better lives. We want to make this happen right across the university sector.”

We have a full list of universities taking part.

It’s growing all the time so if there’s a particular course you wish to gain access to – then do check the list to see if you could get help with funding.

If you are a refugee or asylum seeker and you wish to apply to university we would really encourage you to do so. Be aware that applications have to be received by six pm on the 15th January.

We’d also suggest that when you decide what course you’d like to do, then look at our list of Equal Access Scholarships. It may also be a good idea to think local if you do not have the funds to live a long way from your current address.

Good luck and get applying today!

Posted by STAR team on 05/01/2018 at 04:25 PM