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2024: New Year, New Process for Universities of Sanctuary

We’re delighted to have experienced an unprecedented level of interest in Universities of Sanctuary over the past 12 months. 

We currently have 34 awarded Universities of Sanctuary and 15 universities who have submitted an application and are currently working towards (re-)accreditation. That is a mind-boggling 29% of universities across the UK.

This has been an exciting time – but challenging. 

At City of Sanctuary UK, the small UK-wide charity overseeing the Universities of Sanctuary programme, we only have one Universities Coordinator working part-time, whilst juggling another role. This is down to funding constraints. 

We remain committed to working with every university interested in promoting sanctuary values, but we need to change the way we work to ensure applying universities receive the support and communication they need and that our expectations and the awards process are clear.

We have therefore closed submissions for any new University of Sanctuary applications until the new academic year, when we will be implementing application cohorts and a new staggered application process. This process will start in September 2024 – information about this will be circulated during the summer semester.

Want to become a University of Sanctuary in the future?

  1. Sign a supporting organisation pledge so we can note your interest now
  2. Review our website to learn more about the process, criteria and see supporting resources to help you plan ahead.
  3. Subscribe to the Universities of Sanctuary Newsletter to keep in the loop about the new application process, current events and opportunities and the latest news. Whilst you may not be able to be awarded as a University of Sanctuary in the next 9 months, you can still get involved with all of our events, use our resources and connect with colleagues across the sector – all of which will strengthen your application when you submit!

If you are a currently awarded University of Sanctuary who is due to re-accredit in the next 12 months and have not already submitted an application, you will be prioritised in the new academic year’s application cohorts. In the meantime, we will continue to recognise you as an awarded organisation.

All the universities who have already submitted a draft or final application which will be processed this academic year will be contacted separately to confirm next steps. 

In the meantime, thank you all for your patience, understanding and ongoing support for the Universities of Sanctuary work.

Warm wishes,


Universities of Sanctuary Coordinator and City of Sanctuary UK North West Regional Coordinator.