Below are some examples of how providers have supported refugees which you may find helpful when developing your own approaches. Some of these approaches may not yet be fully evaluated.
We will update this page with more examples of effective practice as we identify them. If you have, or are aware of, examples of effective practice in this area please contact [email protected].
Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck’s Compass Project is a programme for people seeking asylum who would like to continue their education at university. Working in partnership with local organisations in London and beyond, the programme inspires mature, non-traditional learners from the forced migrant community to fulfil their academic aspirations.
See a case study of this project
University of Bradford supporting the local community
The University of Bradford was one of the first universities to be awarded University of Sanctuary status.
The university seeks to support the local community through initiatives to encourage refugees and asylum seekers to access higher education. Initiatives include:
- the provision of Sanctuary Scholarships
- engagement with local employers, partners and students to inspire primary school children throughout their learner journey. The theory is that by seeing other refugees who have gone on to higher education and excelled primary school children will be inspired so that they strive to attain the GCSEs they need to reach higher education
- creating role models for success and progression by diversifying its workforce in order to create a more vibrant community
- embedding best practice in raising aspiration among refugees and asylum seekers.
Over the past five years the university has recruited on average 19 refugees and asylum seekers per year, with a marked increase to 38 in 2018-19.
The university’s ambition is to increase the numbers of refugees and asylum seekers to at least 60 per year by 2024-25.
The University of Manchester Article 26 scholarships
The University of Manchester has recently become a University of Sanctuary.
They have committed to continuing their Article 26 scholarships for sanctuary seekers and to working with asylum seekers and refugee organisations to raise awareness of the support available to prospective students. The Article 26 scholarships are advertised to students as part of the university’s student financial support package.
When students are awarded the Article 26 scholarship the university tracks their progress and continues to offer support and advice during their studies and in preparation for graduation.
York College supporting refugees to transition from further to higher education
In 2017-18 and 2018-19 the college offered a vocational study programme for refugees in partnership with the local authority, which has improved access to further education for this groups of students.
Retention and success has been very high on the programmes, and it is envisaged that the programme will continue in future years.
The participants will be targeted and supported into higher level study once they complete their further education course. Staff will share best practice with higher education academic staff so that they are equipped and more confident to support refugees.
University of Hull financial support and Sanctuary Champions Network
The University of Hull became a recognised University of Sanctuary in 2018, and has created a Sanctuary Champions Network (SCN) which continues to develop ways to support forced migrants, both in terms of access to higher education and within the local community.
The university offers the following financial awards each year:
- Three scholarships for asylum seekers and those granted discretionary/limited leave to remain following an application for asylum, comprising a full tuition fee waiver, £2,000 study grant and a tailored package of additional support.
- A fee reduction for all new entrants who are seeking asylum, or have been granted discretionary/limited leave to remain following an application for asylum, reducing their fees from the International rate to the Home/EU rate.
These awards are targeted at those seeking asylum rather than students with refugee status because the latter have access to student finance, so do not face the same financial barriers to access higher education. The university does also offer a tailored package of non-financial support for refugee students.