University Scholarships for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Lots of universities already offer scholarships, bursaries, fee waivers* and reduced fees to help people who have claimed asylum in the UK access higher education**. Below is a list of all the universities and organisations we’ve heard about that offer this kind of support. We try to keep this list as up to date as possible but recommend that you check with the university to make sure. If you hear about any others or think the information about a university is incorrect, please let us know! Just send us a message using our contact form.
Most of the scholarships and bursaries in this list are for students studying undergraduate courses; where a university offers support for both undergraduates and postgraduates we’ve made this clear with UG and PG.
The list includes scholarships, bursaries, fee waivers and fee reductions for people still waiting for a decision on their asylum claim and for those who have been granted refugee status, Discretionary Leave to Remain and other forms of temporary leave resulting from an asylum claim. You can see who can apply for the support in the Details and Links section of the table and find out more on the university’s own website.
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If you are a student, STAR group, or university staff member looking to campaign for Equal Access at your university, take a look at our Equal Access campaign resources or speak to Alicia, our Equal Access Campaign Coordinator, on 02076974136 between 10am to 6pm on Mondays, Tuesday and Thursday.
Universities offering financial support
|University||Offering||UG/PG||Details and Links|
|Aberdeen||Fee waiver Accommodation||UG/PGT||At least four awards that will be a mix of undergraduate and taught postgraduate places, to support refugee students who have chosen to come to the UK. The scholarships will cover tuition fees plus accommodation: http://bit.ly/2m7lY7p||Bath Spa||Fee waiver £5000||PG||2 postgraduate scholarships in International Education for Syrian refugees. Includes a fee waivers and £5000 stipend: http://bit.ly/2moQev7||Birkbeck||Fee waiver||UG/PG||20 fully funded places for asylum seekers and others from a refugee background to study on any undergraduate or postgraduate certificate programme: http://bit.ly/2nwqA6N|
|Birmingham||Fee waiver||UG||One scholarship for an asylum seeker or someone with discretionary leave to do an undergraduate degree: http://bit.ly/2bhP5Mt|
|Bradford||Fee waiver £500||UG/PG||Tuition fee waiver and course costs bursary of £500 for asylum seekers, refugee or those with discretionary leave who cannot access Student Finance: http://bit.ly/28SqX6F|
|Brighton||Fee waiver £15,000||PG||Tuition fee waiver and living costs bursary of up to £15,000 for postgraduate study for asylum seekers or those who have been granted another form of temporary status: http://bit.ly/1Vicwsv|
|Bristol||Fee waiver £14,296||UG/PG||Full scholarships for asylum seekers, those with humanitarian or limited leave to remain, refugees and dependents of any of these groups who do not have access to student finance. This covers fees, living costs of up to £14,296, English language tuition and other foundational support. Partial scholarships for those who can already access student finance: http://bit.ly/1UH3CT6|
|Canterbury Christchurch||Fee waiver £1000||UG||One award available per year for asylum seekers, or those with discretionary leave or other temporary status as a result of an asylum claim (full tuition fee waiver plus £1,000 bursary): http://bit.ly/2aoOTMs|
|Cardiff||Fee waiver £4000 Home fees||UG||Asylum seekers charged home fees. 2 scholarships for asylum seekers and dependents (full tuition fee waiver and £4,000 per year): http://bit.ly/1UcTJfY Can also apply for Cardiff Education Trust Fund: http://bit.ly/1Raulsb|
|Chester||Fee waiver||UG||One award available per year for asylum seekers or those granted another form of limited leave as a result of an asylum claim (full tuition fee waiver): http://bit.ly/1O5szBW|
|City, University of London||Fee waiver £12,102||UG||Three full tuition fee waivers available per year for asylum seekers or those granted another form of temporary status as a result of an asylum claim. Includes a £12,102 grant to cover living costs: http://bit.ly/2gamHxp|
|De Montfort||Fee waiver £3000 Accommodation||UG||Four scholarships available per year for students from an asylum seeking background (4 people will receive a full tuition fee waiver, and 1 person will also get free accommodation in a UNITE hall). This includes NHS funded courses: http://bit.ly/1TEibpi|
|Dundee||Fee waiver £9135 Free accommodation||PG||Five scholarships available for Postgraduate Taught Students with Refugee Status, Humanitarian protection of Discretionary Leave to remain as a result of an asylum claim. Includes tuition fee waiver, living costs stipend and accommodation: http://bit.ly/2mGoG02|
|East Anglia||Fee waiver £3000||UG/PG||2 Article 26 awards for refugees in the Norfolk area: http://bit.ly/2m2b2r0|
|East London (UEL)||Summer programme||n/a||A 10 week summer programme for refugees and asylum seekers to help prepare for higher education: http://bit.ly/2n62Mnr|
|Edge Hill||Fee waiver £800||UG||One awards available for asylum seekers and those granted another form of temporary status as a result of an asylum claim (full tuition fee waiver and £800 scholarship for cost of books and travel). And all asylum seekers pay home fees: http://bit.ly/1kLBosN|
|Edinburgh||Home fees Fee waiver £14,000||PG||Home fee status for asylum seekers, those with discretionary leave and other temporary statuses: http://bit.ly/2aoQzoT and three postgraduate scholarships for Syrians with refugee status or humanitarian protection. Covers tuition fees and £14,000 stipend: http://bit.ly/1NdqZne|
|Essex||£1000||UG/PG||Refugee students are eligible for a £1000 bursary: http://bit.ly/2eEICAl|
|Exeter||Home Fees||UG||Home Fees for asylum seekers, children of asylum seekers and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children: http://bit.ly/1TRpUon|
|Glasgow||Fee waiver £5000 Accommodation||UG/PG||‘Humanitarian Scholarships’ – Tuition fee waiver, £5000 stipend and accommodation fee waiver for two undergraduate asylum seekers, people with humanitarian protection or leave to remain under Article 8 : http://bit.ly/2aCPw3d. Also offering two scholarships for refugees who want to study an MA in Global Migrations and Social Justice: http://bit.ly/2mn4K3E|
|Goldsmiths||Fee waiver £11,400 Accommodation||UG/PG||‘International Response Scholarship’ – Tuition fee waiver and and accommodation fee waiver for undergraduate and postgraduate refugees or asylum seekers who cannot access Student Finance. UG: http://bit.ly/1TLu63u and PG: http://bit.ly/28PagDT. Applications close August 8th 2016|
|Herriot, Watt||Fee waiver £1000||PGT||Fee waiver and £1000 bursary for asylum seekers, those with discretionary leave or humanitarian protection to undertake a postgraduate taught programme: http://bit.ly/2l7Jt0r|
|Keele||Fee waiver||UG||Two awards available (full tuition fee waiver) for asylum seekers or those granted another form of leave to remain following a request for asylum: http://bit.ly/1mBNTJq|
|Kent||Fee Waiver||UG||Two awards available (full tuition fee waiver) for asylum seekers or those granted another form of leave to remain following a request for asylum: http://bit.ly/2mleEWE|
|Kings College London||Fee waiver £11,000||UG||Two award available per year for asylum seekers and those with limited leave (full tuition fee waiver plus £11,000 bursary): http://bit.ly/24wG3SL and 10 tuition fee waivers for refugees to take part in their summer school: http://bit.ly/2knAras|
|Kingston University||Fee waiver £3000||UG||Four bursaries every year available for asylum seekers, their partners and dependants asylum seekers who have been granted Discretionary Leave to Remain (DLR) or some other form of temporary status (full fee waivers and an annual £3,000 bursary): http://bit.ly/1PKes8A|
|Leeds Trinity College||Fee waiver||UG||Fee waiver for one asylum seeker or those with discretionary leave: http://bit.ly/2aJJHFw|
|Liverpool||Home fees||UG||Home fees for asylum seekers, children of asylum seekers and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, and people with Discretionary Leave to Remain: http://bit.ly/2025R5Z|
|London Metropolitan||Home fees||UG/PG||Home Fees for asylum seekers and those with discretionary leave: http://bit.ly/1TY7j6V|
|London School of Economics||Fee waiver £11,000||UG/PG||Two awards for asylum seekers and people who have been granted limited leave as the result of an asylum application and their children (partial tuition fee waiver (equating to home fees plus means tested bursaries of up to £11,000): http://bit.ly/1Z5jWND Ten fully funded scholarships for postgraduates who are asylum seekers or refugees: http://bit.ly/1XprfDs|
|Manchester||Home Fees Fee waiver £600||UG||Home fees for asylum seekers, children of asylum seekers and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children: http://bit.ly/1UwOnMw and one full fee waiver including £600 grant: http://bit.ly/1PeZyo3|
|Newcastle||Home fees||UG||Offers limited number of tuition fee reductions for asylum seekers, making the fee equivalent to home fees: http://bit.ly/1n3Zi4D|
|Newman University College (Birmingham)||Fee waiver||UG||One award for: One award for asylum seekers and those granted Discretionary Leave to Remain or some other form of temporary status and their dependents (full fee waiver and limited additional financial support to assist with study and travel expenses): http://bit.ly/1OayqGJ|
|Nottingham Trent||Fee waiver £500||UG||Two awards available per year for asylum seekers or those granted discretionary leave to remain (full tuition fee waiver and a £500 award towards course and travel costs for each year): http://bit.ly/2aJKFSb|
|Oxford||Fee waiver||UG/PG||A scholarship for a refugee, asylum seeker or person with humanitarian protection to study at Oxford: http://bit.ly/2l6pazK|
|Oxford, Balliol College||Fee waiver||UG||A full scholarship and living costs allowance for a refugee or asylum seeker to study an undergraduate degree: http://bit.ly/2cPOjGH|
|Queen Mary’s||Fee waiver £11,002||UG||Up to 2 bursaries for asylum seekers, children of asylum seekers and those holding Discretionary Leave to Remain (full tuition fee waivers and grant equivalent to student finance maintenance loan (£11,002) and a bursary of £1,571: http://bit.ly/2fqDTQp|
|Queen’s University, Belfast||Fee waiver £8000||UG||2 full fee waivers and £8000 bursary for asylum seekers and those granted discretionary leave as a result of an asylum claim: http://bit.ly/2hEseSq|
|Royal Holloway||Fee waiver||UG||One scholarship for people seeking asylum or with Discretionary Leave to Remain (full tuition fee waiver): http://bit.ly/1PKfAsQ|
|Salford||Fee waiver||UG||Three scholarships for people who are asylum seekers or those granted Discretionary Leave to Remain or some other form of temporary status (full tuition fee waiver and limited additional financial support to assist with study and travel expenses): http://bit.ly/1mFOc5w|
|Sheffield||Fee waiver £9840||UG/PG||Five scholarships for people seeking asylum or with limited leave to remain and their dependents and partners (full fee waivers and £9,840 to support living costs for each year of study):http://bit.ly/1JtQmPY. Scholarships for English language courses: http://bit.ly/2aFo9Wl|
|SOAS||Fee waiver||UG/PG||undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for asylum seekers, those with humanitarian protection or other form of limited leave (full fee waivers): http://bit.ly/2iInsmn|
|Southampton Solent||Fee waiver||UG/PG||Fee waiver for one Syrian national with refugee status or here through the SVPR scheme: http://bit.ly/2lRL8EC|
|Stirling||Fee waiver||PGT||Fee waiver for Syrian refugees on a masters programme: http://bit.ly/2m7r6bM|
|Strathclyde||Fee waiver||UG/PG||For asylum seekers and those with limited leave to remain (full tuition fee waiver plus financial support for study-related expenditure):http://bit.ly/1sqJBr0|
|St Marys Twickenham||Fee waiver||UG/||Tuition fee waiver for and limited financial support for an asylum seeker or someone granted limited leave to remain: http://bit.ly/2bgdW32|
|Surrey||Home fees||UG/PG||Partial fee waiver bringing the cost to the ‘home fee’ rate and a bursary up to £1500 for asylum seekers: http://bit.ly/2iy0Wc1|
|Sussex||Fee waiver £3000||UG||Two scholarships for asylum seekers or those with DLR (full fee waivers and £3,000 per year): http://bit.ly/2jnXMMD Plus 50 English language scholarships for Syrian refugees: http://bit.ly/1MSI3YS|
|UAL||Fee waiver Accomodation||PGT||Up to eight fully funded scholarships (including accommodation) for postgraduate taught students who are asylum seekers: http://bit.ly/2n1dhZX|
|UCL||Fee waiver £10,750||UG||Two undergraduate scholarships for those with limited/discretionary leave or other temporary immigration status and are unable to access Student Finance funding. This scholarship provides full tuition fees and maintenance stipends of £10,750: http://bit.ly/2lTqxmg|
|Warwick||Fee waiver £8,430||UG/PG||Two fully funded scholarships for undergraduate students who are asylum seekers or have been granted another form of temporary status. Up to eight fully funded scholarships for postgraduate taught and research students who are asylum seekers or who have humanitarian protection or refugee status: http://bit.ly/2gA0CJ0|
|Westminster||Fee waiver||UG||One scholarship for people with Discretionary Leave to Remain who are under 25 years of age: http://bit.ly/1PKgNQU|
|Winchester||Fee waiver £3000||UG||Five awards for people who are seeking asylum in the UK or who have been granted limited leave to remain or some other form of temporary status (full tuition fee waiver and £3000 bursary): http://bit.ly/2gZUZor|
|York||Fee waiver £10,660||UG||Full fee waiver, and a maintenance award of up to £10,660 for asylum seekers and those granted discretionary leave as a result of an asylum or human righst application: http://bit.ly/1OzZEdK|
|York S. John||Fee waiver £1000||UG||Fee waiver and £1000 per year of study for an asylum seeker or someone granted DLR: http://bit.ly/2dRtO0R|
* In many cases scholarships and bursaries are the same thing, to avoid confusion, we’ve used the same words as the university uses; scholarships and bursaries cover fees and also some living costs. Fee waivers cover only fees.
** While some England-based universities have committed to supporting Equal Access to higher education by charging Home Fees (instead of International Fees) to people seeking asylum or with Discretionary Leave to Remain or other forms of temporary leave, universities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also, according to national policies, charge Home Fees to people with Discretionary Leave to Remain and / or people seeking asylum; for more information see: http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/International-Students/Fees—finance/Home-or-Overseas-fees/
*** People living in Wales with Discretionary Leave to Remain charged Home Fees according to national policy.
Other organisations offering financial support
|Organisation||Offering||Number||Details and Links|
|Article 26||Bursaries||n/a||Some of the university bursaries listed are Article 26 scholarships. Find out more about Article 26 and to see the full list of Article 26 bursaries: http://bit.ly/1Sjclal|
|Westheimer Health and Social Care Scholarship||Scholarships||3||Up to 3 scholarships for asylum seekers to pursue a degree in social care, medicine, nursing or other health related programmes. http://swtrust.org.uk/|
|Tiko Foundation||Grants||1 – 2||Provides funding towards tuition and accommodation expenses for asylum seekers. http://bit.ly/1TzY5e6|
|Hope For The Young||Grants||n/a||Provides small grants towards tuition and living expenses for asylum seekers. http://bit.ly/2gZUZor|
|Family Action||Grants||n/a||Provides grants to support people begin or continue their studies (for people with right of residency only). http://bit.ly/1VTcA2X||Refugee Survival Trust (Scotland only)||Grants||n/a||Small grants to enable refugees and asylum seekers to access education and employment such as application fees, book costs etc: http://bit.ly/2iCp79y|
For a more comprehensive list of organisations that provide small grants, take a look at this list
Applying for these scholarships; step by step guide
1. Check your eligibility for student finance
People with different immigration statuses have different eligibility for financial support. Coram Children’s Legal Centre have put together a fact sheet on access to higher education in England for refugees and migrants which outlines the eligibility for different groups. UKCISA also produce guidance on eligibility for England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland.
2. Check which universities offer scholarships of fee waivers
If you aren’t eligible for home fees or students support, a scholarship might be the only option. Whilst you can’t rely on being offered a scholarship, applying to the universities that offer them will improve your chances. Take a look at our above list and see which universities do the course you’re interested in. We try to keep the list as up to date as possible but recommend that you check with the university to make sure.
3. Check eligibility for the scholarship
All the scholarships are slightly different. Some of them include refugees, people with limited leave to remain or humanitarian protection as well as asylum seekers. Get in touch with the university if you are uncertain of the eligibility criteria. Make a note of the scholarship deadline.
4. Apply for your course:
In most cases, you must apply for the course before you apply for the scholarship
a. Undergraduate – to apply for an undergraduate degree you must apply through UCAS. The deadline to apply is January 15th 2017. UCAS produce some guides to applying for international students in different languages that may be helpful. You can apply for up to 5 universities through UCAS. Some universities won’t know yet if scholarships will be available this year so always make sure you also apply to some universities which have confirmed scholarships for 2017-18. If you applied to universities that don’t offer scholarships, there is the option of applying through UCAS Extra which is open until June 30th.
b. Postgraduate – to apply for a postgraduate degree you can either apply directly through the university’s website or through UCAS depending on the type of course. Whilst there isn’t usually a deadline for postgraduate applications, it’s better to apply early to ensure there is time to apply for the scholarship.
5. Apply for the scholarship!
Each university will produce their own guidance on how to apply for the scholarship so make sure you follow that. Give yourself enough time to complete your application so you aren’t rushing.
Further advice and support
For further advice and information you may want to contact some of the following organisations:
Refugee Support Network – supports young asylum seekers, refugees and migrants to access education. Contact their advice line on 07597583228 or 08003317292 on Mondays 2-5pm or Thursdays 2-5pm (text them if you want them to call you back), or send an email to [email]email@example.com[/email] with your questions and phone number and they will call you.
Migrant Children’s Project – provide information and legal support about entitlements to education (for young people as well as children). Contact their advice line 0207636 8505 or email them at [email]firstname.lastname@example.org[/email] between 10am – 4pm on Tuesdays to Thursdays.
UKCISA – The UK Council for International Students Affairs provide information and support to students classed as international and can answer questions about your eligibility and other complex queries. Contact their advice line on 02077889214 between 1pm – 4pm from Monday to Friday.