Refugee Week: University of Leicester announces Sanctuary Scholarships

Support for refugees and asylum seekers highlighted on World Refugee Day.

Support for refugees and asylum seekers to access higher education is being extended by the University of Leicester. The University recently became a University of Sanctuary, which involves welcoming asylum seekers and refugees onto university courses and providing incentives and routes for them to get involved.

Those seeking refuge are already benefitting from language courses provided by the University’s English Language Teaching Unit, and now the University is providing Sanctuary Scholarships for students starting in September.

These scholarships are in addition to a range of other scholarships, including sports and music scholarships, already available from the University. More information can be found on our scholarships pages.

Each Sanctuary Scholarship consists of a tuition fee waiver, a contribution to living costs and tailored personal support. The Scholarships will be awarded to four applicants who can demonstrate that they have the ability to succeed academically, but are facing barriers to that success.

Phil Horspool, Director of the English Language Teaching Unit and Chair of the University Sanctuary steering group, said: “We believe that higher education should be accessible to all based on merit alone, and are pleased to offer up to four Sanctuary Scholarships to help reduce the barriers to participation in higher education faced by those seeking asylum in the UK.

“These scholarships offer an opportunity for talented asylum seeking students to study at a leading UK university. Education is a key goal for many who wish to start a new life, having fled persecution or war to seek safety and hope in the UK. The University now offers a real pathway for those whose education has been interrupted or delayed and we are proud to support asylum seekers in their quest to build a new life.

“We are sure that the successful applicants will add to the richness and diversity that we already enjoy at Leicester.” The awards include a tuition fee waiver plus £3,500 per year for living expenses. There are two undergraduate awards available, one taught Master’s award and one PhD award.

The scheme offers the opportunity for full time study to those who would not otherwise be able to access a full-time degree programme. The scholarships are in addition to fee waivers on the University’s full time English language pre-sessional programme which has already benefitted more than 50 refugees and asylum seekers; the fee waiver for distance learning Master’s programmes run by History, Politics and International Relations; places on the Museum Studies summer school, as well as opportunities to study through the University’s Languages at Leicester programme and other English language programmes run by the ELTU.