Sanctuary Seekers’ Unit

Staff and volunteers who support sanctuary students

We have staff and volunteers in a wide range of roles who support sanctuary students at the University. As individuals with refugee backgrounds are likely to experience quite specific challenges, we as a Sanctuary Seekers’ Unit have developed our expertise and networks in this area so that we are able to provide support to them, and to any staff members or volunteers who are working with them. We have outlined a range of resources and types of support on offer, and are also here to help and advise anyone wishing to discuss any aspect of supporting sanctuary students (current or potential). To get in touch, please email

Training and learning resources

Our events and learning resources webpages provide a range of useful information related to supporting sanctuary students. This includes a list of useful resources (including MOOCS, articles, blogs, podcasts, interviews and links to relevant organisations) for anyone working with students from refugee backgrounds. There is also a set of self-access trauma training materials, including four video presentations and reading materials accompanied by activities to encourage reflection and application of learning to individuals’ own teaching contexts. We have also made available the recordings of presentations from our flagship annual Breaking Barriers Refugee Week, many of which focus on ways in which we and other organisations support students from refugee backgrounds.

Supporting sanctuary students wishing to apply to university

If you are supporting a student who is looking to apply for a place on a degree programme, please direct them to our webpages for sanctuary applicants. Here you will find information about the range of English language classes and support that we offer to help them bring their English up to the level that they need for university study, plus a range of comprehensive information about important factors to consider prior to applying to university.

Information about sanctuary scholarships and funding concessions, which we offer on academic degree programmes (both campus-based and via distance learning), is available on our academic scholarships and home fees page. If the student who you are supporting is looking to apply to other UK universities, it is well worth directing them to the Displaced Students Opportunities UK website, which is the central website through which UK sanctuary scholarships are currently being advertised.

Supporting existing sanctuary students

A wealth of information about support available to existing University of Leicester sanctuary students can be found on our webpage for sanctuary scholars and refugee-background students. In the section entitled ‘support offered by the Sanctuary Seekers’ Unit’, there is information about how a sanctuary student might request a one-to-one appointment (online or in person) with a member of the team.

Your wellbeing

Supporting sanctuary students can sometimes pose additional challenges and bring up difficult thoughts and feelings, and it is important that anyone doing so is aware of wellbeing support which they themselves might wish to access. For information about what support is available, please contact the Staff Health and Wellbeing Team at or take a look at the staff wellbeing pages (log-in required), particularly the section on staff support.

Further opportunities to get involved

Learn more about volunteering opportunities available with us and some of our partner organisations.

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