We are delighted to announce that the 2nd edition of the University of Sanctuary resource pack is now available! The pack has been designed to support universities as they work towards becoming recognised as a University of Sanctuary. It contains case studies, links to resources and recommendations as well as information about accreditation.
To order one or more paper copies of either the resource book or the leaflet, please complete our order form.
City of Sanctuary Resources
Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is intended for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting upon it.
Useful Resources and Research on Access to Education for people seeking sanctuary
This is Article 26’s comprehensive guide for universities, published in 2014, which aims to assist Higher Education institutions to fully support a student from an asylum seeking background. Using case studies from the real experiences of Article 26 students, it contains a whole host of information about the asylum process, a student’s rights and entitlements whilst they are seeking asylum and a list of organisations where universities can access further information, advice and support.
This report sets out the steps universities are taking to support the needs of displaced learners. It also suggests ways in which they can further enhance their impact working with and for displaced communities.
It draws together existing advice and guidance, and highlights good practice that can be used to inform the development of new strategic approaches to the challenge of access to higher education for displaced learners.
This fact sheet provides information on access to higher education but applies only to those studying in England.
Whether you’re a young refugee or simply someone with an interest in refugee education, this link contains a host of research, toolkits, advice sheets and other resources to help practitioners in their work supporting refugee and asylum-seeking young people’s education. The advice sheets offer practical tips and guidance for individuals and education institutions for overcoming the challenges that young refugees and asylum seekers face during the transition to FE and HE.
Information about applying to university for people seeking sanctuary
A written guidance document by STAR (Student Action for Refugees) to help asylum seekers and those with limited leave to remain
How to complete a Scholarship Application Form This useful guidance is provided by De Montfort University about how to answer the questions of the Article 26/Sanctuary scholarship form. This guidance is general and we recommend contacting the university directly if you are unsure or have any questions.
- Got an offer from the university? Watch this video about next steps: A video of a presentation on applying for scholarships. It covers an overview of scholarships, how to apply, and key tips for the application process.
Bursaries, fee waivers, and scholarships:
A complete list of the universities offering scholarships to students with a sanctuary seeking background including eligibility criteria, deadlines, and how much they offer.
Read more about the support offered by Refugee Education UK here
Where to get help if you think your status is preventing you from accessing higher education:
Refugee Education UK – Information related to accessing higher education and an HE advice line to help young asylum seekers, refugees and migrants aged 16-24 to access education.
RefuAid – Access to education support including funding for IELTS and English exams.
NARIC – Support with recognition and comparison of international qualifications.
UKCISA – The UK Council for International Students Affairs provides information and support to students classed as international and can answer questions about your eligibility for student finance and home fee status.
UCAS – The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) offers guidance for undergraduate applications, including a guide to applying on UCAS (available in different languages), advice on writing your personal statement, advice for people seeking asylum and refugees, and advice on choosing a reference.
The Complete University Guide – Information about applying to university, general funding information, open days and frequently asked questions.
Migrant Children’s Project Advice Line – Information and legal support about entitlements to education (for young people as well as children).
Migrant Children’s Project Advice Line – Information and legal support about entitlements to education (for young people as well as children).
Right to Remain – A UK-based human rights organisation that provides information, resources, training and assistance to help people to establish their right to remain, and challenge injustice in the immigration and asylum system.
Migrant Help – Support with applying for asylum accommodation and asylum support.
Refugee Action – Support with the asylum process and your entitlements.
What does your status mean for applying to university in the UK?
This BBC News article explores the situation facing many young people in the UK who, despite living here for much of their youth, find that they are unable to access student finance, and therefore university.
A brief introduction to what your immigration status might mean for your application to Higher Education in the UK.
With information on eligibility and how your status affects your application.
Produced by Central England Law Centre and Warwick Law in the Community this resource aims to help students with humanitarian protection to navigate the recent changes to their entitlement to home fee status and student finance
After university and other support
- RETAS – provide assistance with access to education, re-qualification, training and employment to help individuals with a sanctuary seeking background integrate into their communities [Leeds-based].
- Breaking Barriers – an organisation that helps sanctuary seekers find employment at major companies.
- TERN – supports refugees to grow their own businesses through offering advice and mentorships.
- Find Courses – helps to find available funding for vocational courses and professional qualifications.
- Transitions London matches refugees with appropriate business opportunities for six-month internships that can transition into a permanent job.
- upReach – help young people achieve their career potential by providing an intensive programme of support that addresses socio-economic barriers to employment.
- The Refugee Council offer therapeutic services and has a new Infoline in response to pandemic-related needs.
- Do It has a collection of volunteering opportunities that you can get involved with.
STAR’s comprehensive guide on how to campaign for Equal Access to Higher Education for refugees at your university. For more information on the Equal Access campaign, please click here.
To sign up to the Equal Access to Higher Education mailing list to receive updates on higher education opportunities for asylum seekers, refugees and those with limited leave to remain, please click here.
A26 is a charity which promotes access to Higher Education for people who have fled persecution and sought asylum in the UK. They advise on bursaries and scholarships, and have written an incredibly informative and comprehensive document on access to H.E. for sanctuary seekers, entitled “Education for All”. You can access this here.
In partnership with universities and research institutes, trusts and foundations, learned societies and other like-minded organisations, as well as many academics and other concerned individuals, Cara offers persecuted and at-risk academics solidarity, support to reach a place where they can work in safety, and financial and practical help.
CLC is the UK’s leading children’s legal charity. Amongst many other things, they have the Migrant Children’s Project, to promote the rights of refugee and migrant children, young people and families and to ensure that they receive the protection and support they need.
GRAMN conduct research and qualitative evaluation on migration, refugees and the asylum process. As a network, they consult on migration-related policy in the UK and internationally. They bring together researchers and practitioners, NGOs and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland.
The Law Clinic offers pro bono advice on many issues. One of their main projects is the Refugee Family Reunion Project, which works to reunite refugees with their families where they have become separated due to persecution or conflict. They work in partnership with the British Red Cross on this project.
S&W provide grants and scholarships to refugees to help make Higher Education accessible.
SOAS Detainee Support is a student-led initiative working in solidarity with people in and outside immigration detention centres. They aim to reduce isolation, offer practical support to people fighting for release, and campaign for an end to the use of detention.
STAR is the national network of students building a society where refugees are welcomed and can thrive in the UK. Together, they volunteer and work directly with refugees, campaign for policy change and equal access, and learn about refugees and asylum. They lead the Equal Access campaign to ensure that people seeking refugee protection in the UK can access higher education.
REUK helps young refugees, asylum seekers and survivors of trafficking to build more hopeful futures through education. For young refugees arriving in Europe, education is a priority, and RSN, amongst other things, help to mentor refugees and give advice to help people access Higher Education.
R2R work with groups across the UK supporting people to establish their right to remain with dignity, safety and humanity, and to challenge the injustice of the immigration and asylum system. They provide information and resources to groups and individuals on working to establish the right to remain and campaigning for migration justice, and deliver capacity-building training, workshops and meetings with grass-roots groups and networks. They can help university groups by delivering training on how to campaign, the complexities of the asylum system, and social media, and much more.
This comprehensive guide for universities, published in 2014 aims to assist Higher Education institutions to fully support a student from an asylum seeking background. Using case studies from the real experiences of Article 26 students, it contains a whole host of information about the asylum process, a student’s rights and entitlements whilst they are seeking asylum, and a list of organisations where universities can access further information, advice and support.
More Article 26 resources here https://universities.cityofsanctuary.org/resources/article26
This session was designed as a “starter kit” for universities who are interested in becoming a University of Sanctuary. We hear from Newcastle University which was just starting out on the journey, designing an audit to take a sample of the initiatives happening at the university already, and also from a well established University of Sanctuary (St Andrews) to see what we can learn about setting up working groups and strategising. We also hear from a Sanctuary Scholar about the importance of including students from the beginning, all chaired by an experienced member of the UoS Steering Group, Professor Nick Gill.
SCAPP (Scotland’s Community of Access and Participation Practitioners) and Universities of Sanctuary jointly held a second event for practitioners with an interest in improving refugees’ access to Higher Education in Scotland.
44 colleagues from Universities and Third Sector organisations across Scotland attended the event, where widening access good practice examples were presented by:
- University of St Andrews, Joanna Fry and Harriet Sheridan: experience and learning from welcoming the first cohort of scholarship holders as a new University of Sanctuary
- University of Glasgow, Martin Irwin and Paula Blair: acting as initial point of contact and information for potential refugee and asylum seeking applicants
- University of Strathclyde, Louise Martin: mentoring programme for learners who are in the asylum process
A webinar recording of event for university practitioners to learn about developing and maintaining scholarships for refugees and asylum seekers in UK universities.
Resources by Article 26
Over the years Article 26 has sought to collate and and share the experience and knowledge developed delivering the project. Below you will find a range of resources available to download, you can learn more about the project on the Article 26 website.
The Article 26 ‘Guiding Principles’ is the first of a series of six resources aimed at providing the most up to date information and best in in relation to the delivery of initiatives to support forced migrants in higher education.
A guide to identifying the different groups collectively described as forced migrants and whom we would encourage universities to include in their eligibility criteria for their scholarship schemes.
this resource outlines key outreach strategies for the promotion of sanctuary scholarships internally within universities, in the locality and via national platforms.
An application form and accompanying guidance notes to support universities in the establishment of or review of their existing scholarship scheme
A revised and updated application form and accompanying guidance notes to support universities in the establishment of or review of their existing scholarship scheme.
A selection framework built on and directly connected to the revised application form, which will support universities in the process of shortlisting, interviewing and assessing the specific needs of prospective forced migrant students.
External link (Opens in a new tab or windowonce they have exhausted the complaints procedure at their higher education provider.
Loans to support refugees in the UK with the costs of requalification; this can include finance to cover the cost of courses, re-accreditation exams, living expenses while requalifying and registration with professional bodies. The minimum amount is £500 and we can lend up to £10,000. All loans are interest free and repayments are calculated on an individual basis, to ensure affordability.
The Children’s Society – Online befriending project for 14-21 year-olds.
Hope for the Young – Education grants and mentoring project.
Refugee Council: Group activities open for referrals, no waiting list, ESOL and maths, youth activities for boys and girls under 18. Age 14-17. Girls group partnership with Young Roots, 14-17. Open for referrals. Can go up to age 21.
RefuAid – Access to language tuition, education, finance and meaningful employment.