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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.

For a higher-quality version, please e-mail [email protected]

To order one or more paper copies of either the resource book or the leaflet, please complete our order form.

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 organisations

Useful Resources

Education for all

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.

Higher education and displaced people: a guide for UK universities

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.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre’s Access to Higher Education fact sheet for refugees and migrants

This fact sheet provides information on access to higher education but applies only to those studying in England.

Refugee Support Network’s “Thinking Ahead to Higher Education” Toolkit

RSN’s ‘Thinking Ahead to Higher Education’ Toolkit has been designed for young people living in the UK who are unsure about how their immigration status will affect their access to university. Full of useful information and practical guidance, it enables displaced young people to plan their progression into higher education and is a helpful reference tool for their teachers, careers advisors and support workers. Follow the link above to find out more and order your copy.

What does your status mean for applying to university in the UK?

 Raised in the UK – barred from university?

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. 

What does your status mean for applying to university in the UK?

A brief introduction to what your immigration status might mean for your application to Higher Education in the UK.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre’s fact sheet on applying to university in England

With information on eligibility and how your status affects your application.

Applying for student finance and accessing home fees with Humanitarian Protection: A Toolkit

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


Where to get help if you think your status is preventing you from accessing higher education:

Coram Children’s Legal Centre

Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens

We Belong

Law Centres Network

Citizens Advice

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Advice Local

Advice Now


Bursaries/fee waivers/scholarships for refugees/asylum seekers

STAR’s list of access courses and Sanctuary Scholarships for UK universities

A complete list of the universities offering monetary support to refugees and asylum seekers.

University of Bristol and STAR video explaining Sanctuary Scholarships

An informative video which tells the stories of three asylum seekers and refugees studying at the University of Bristol with the help of Sanctuary Scholarships.

Schwaf and Westheimer Trust – provides scholarships and grants for refugees

A charitable trust that helps provide monetary support to refugees.

Equal Access to Higher Education Mailing List

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.

STAR’s Equal Access Campaign Toolkit

As it says on the tin – 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.

Article 26

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.

Let Us Learn

Let us Learn is a group of young migrants, who are proud to call the UK home.
It is our ambition that all migrants should have the chance to contribute fully to British society.
We aim to inspire other young people to take a lead in their schools and communities, and can offer practical support and training.

Asylum Network Match-Maker

ANMM is a website which allows organisations that work with migrants, and researchers (that is students and academics) to connect with each other to ensure that the research that students and academics carry out about migration is useful and interesting to both these organisations and to migrants themselves. It is completely free to use.

Campus in Camps

Campus in Camps is based in Dheisheh refugee camp in Palestine, and runs joint workshops, learning events and projects. They connect young generations in the camp and other generations in the surrounding cities and universities, in order to break isolation surrounding refugee communities and to offer them a platform to engage in a positive and productive way with the rest of the world.


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.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre

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.

Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network

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 Jamiya Project

The Jamiya Project provides relevant and accessible higher education for Syrian refugees by reconnecting them with Syrian academics, European universities and the latest education technology.

Kiron Open Higher Education

Kiron uses a combination of online and offline learning to provide accessible, sustainable, and cost-effective education for refugees worldwide, with the help of  22 partner universities, and with 4 different study tracks.

Plymouth Law School Law Clinic

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.

Schwab and Westheimer Trust

S&W provide grants and scholarships to refugees to help make Higher Education accessible.

The Silent University

The Silent University is a solidarity based knowledge exchange platform by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. It is led by a group of lecturers, consultants and research fellows, with each group contributing to the programme in different ways, which include course development, specific research on key themes as well as personal reflections on what it means to be a refugee and asylum seeker. 

SOAS Detainee Support Group

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.

Student Action for Refugees: STAR

STAR is made up of over 30 groups at universities across the UK, with all the  groups are students’ union societies which are affiliated to the nationally coordinated charity. They welcome refugees to the UK by volunteering at local refugee projects, campaigning to improve the lives of refugees, educating people about refugees and asylum and fundraising to welcome refugees. They are currently one of the leaders in the campaign for Equal Access to Higher Education for refugees.

Refugee Support Network

RSN 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.

Right to Remain

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.

What support should sanctuary students expect from their university?

The government has asked universities to ensure that the following support is in place for vulnerable students (including those from a sanctuary seeking background):

  • Guaranteed appropriate accommodation. If it is safe and feasible vulnerable students should have the option to remain in their accommodation. If students are required to move, universities and colleges should make sure that those students can get the practical assistance that they need.
  • Continued access to established financial support, and to immediate hardship funding if necessary. Where universities and colleges are likely to be impacted by staff shortages or office closures this may need to be paid to vulnerable students in advance.
  • Practical support to access food, medical and cleaning supplies.
  • Ongoing access to a first point of contact for student queries and concerns and for proactive wellbeing support.
  • Ongoing access to student support networks, mental health support and academic support where required.

See more from the Office for Students here

If you are a student from a refugee or asylum seeking background and are finding it difficult to access support from your university at this time, please contact us.

You can also escalate complaints with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator once you have exhausted the complaints procedure at your higher education provider.

External link (Opens in a new tab or windowonce they have exhausted the complaints procedure at their higher education provider.