Applying to university: Support & FAQs


Applying for Equal Access scholarships; a 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 list of scholarships and see which universities offer 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 usually January 15th. 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. Make sure you also apply to universities which have confirmed scholarships. If you applied to universities that don’t offer scholarships, there is the option of applying through UCAS Extra which is usually 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.
For more tips for your application, read the ‘Applying for Sanctuary Scholarships’ STAR Guidance Sheet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I go to university if:

• I am seeking asylum?
• I have refugee status?
• I have been granted humanitarian protection?
• Have been granted discretionary leave/limited leave to remain?
• I am the family member of a refugee/here on a family reunion visa
• I am the family member of someone granted humanitarian protection

Yes, all these groups are allowed to go to university in the UK. Access to university is different depending on factors like your immigration status and whether you are in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Please see page 2 of our Equal Access Toolkit for a short summary on this, or look at the UKCISA website for more detailed information on each category.