Achieving your full potential

Find out about the support you can get if you're seeking sanctuary

If you're seeking asylum or have refugee status, you might find it more difficult to go to university.

We're committed to providing equal opportunities to higher education for people seeking sanctuary. This page highlights the support we can give you to help you achieve your ambitions and meet your full potential.

Tuition fee reduction

If you're seeking sanctuary, you're usually classed as an international student for tuition fee and student finance purposes, even if you've lived in the UK for a long time.

We apply a tuition fee reduction for people seeking sanctuary. This means you don't have to pay a tuition fee deposit and you pay the same fees as home (UK) students. To get the reduction, you need to email photos of both sides of your Applicant Registration Card (ARC) to Please state 'Sanctuary tuition fee reduction' and your applicant/student ID in the email subject line.

Sanctuary Scholarship

The Sanctuary Scholarship is for students seeking asylum. It covers all of your tuition fees for each year of your undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree, plus personal and financial support.

There's one Sanctuary Scholarship available each year. It covers each year of your degree (including a sandwich year).

It isn't based on your income and you don't need to pay it back. It isn't available to postgraduate (Master's and research) students.

Sanctuary Language Bursary

If you need to improve your English skills before you study an undergraduate degree with us, you could get a free place on a pre-sessional English course with our Sanctuary Language Bursary.

A designated adviser

A designated member of staff will advise and guide you on your support needs during your time at university.

When you start your course, they'll make sure you have all the information you need to access the student support services including help with academic, disability and wellbeing needs.

Your designated adviser can also:

  • Do a 'health check' on your finances
  • Help you create a budget and plan your spending
  • Give advice on how to access hardship funds and other sources of funding
  • Help with Home Office issues
  • Provide wellbeing support, including referral to counselling
  • Signpost you to other student support services, including support with applying for Student Finance if you become eligible for further support during your studies
Career planning discussion

Getting support

To find out how to get support if you're seeking sanctuary, contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 2392 843072.

If your circumstances change

If you're a Sanctuary Scholarship holder, you must let us know if you (or your parents or spouse/civil partner) are granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a result of an asylum application.

If this happens, the Sanctuary Scholarship will end at the start of the next academic year and you'll be classed as a home (UK) student. You'll then be eligible for other UK Government financial support such as student loans from Student Finance England.

See terms and conditions for full eligibility criteria for the Sanctuary Scholarship.