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The Compass Project Fund at Birkbeck – opening doors to access

Birkbeck,  University of London is committed to supporting forced migrants (typically mature learners) who face difficulty in accessing more traditional sanctuary scholarships, due to lack of academic evidence needed to progress in higher education. As part of the award winning Compass Project, they are offering up to 20 scholarships this year to cover the cost of course fees – for individuals to complete a Level 3/4 (Foundation year, certificate of HE, 1st year of an UG) Level 6 (Foundation programme to PG) or postgraduate qualification (180 credits).

A large focus of the Compass Project is to support those who have had a break in education and face difficulty in accessing universities, as they do not have the evidence needed to meet the necessary entry requirements for undergraduate courses. The flexible approach to entry requirements (the university run internal assessments, interviews and place a lot of value on life/work experience) means that Birkbeck can for some, be the first step they need to get their foot into the HEI door. If you work in a HEI and are thinking of ways to raise the profile of sanctuary scholarships within the forced migrant community, this can definitely offer one potential avenue! If you’d like to know more about the project and opportunities for collaboration, please do get in touch.

Birkbeck offers free taster days that can be attended by anyone who has sought sanctuary in the UK (who does or doesn’t have status) and is interested in finding out about university. The next taster day is taking place on Thursday 9th May from 10.00-16.30, attendees will meet previous Compass students, sit in on a taster lecture and find out more about applying to university and scholarships. Travel can be reimbursed (up to £20 for those outside of London) and lunch will be provided. They can sign up to this here:

Here is the newsletter that was recently sent to community partners, with a bit more information about Compass and Birkbeck: