A new fully funded scholarship for asylum seekers is being offered by the University of Portsmouth, as part of commitment to provide equal opportunities to higher education for people seeking sanctuary.

One Sanctuary Scholarship is available each year to a student seeking asylum to cover all tuition fees of an undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree.

The scholarship is being offered as part of the Portsmouth City of Sanctuary and University of Sanctuary initiatives, which aim to offer safety and sanctuary to anyone fleeing violence and persecution, and to those who are vulnerable and isolated. 

As well as scholarship funding, a designated member of staff will advise and guide the student on their personal and financial support needs during their time at university including wellbeing support, budget planning and help with Home Office issues.

Two students can also apply for a Sanctuary Language Bursary for a free place on a pre-sessional English course if they need to improve their English skills before they study an undergraduate degree. This is also open to people with refugee status.

The University will also offer a tuition fee concession to all students seeking asylum, which means they will be eligible to pay the same fees as other UK students.

Dr Bryony Whitmarsh, Associate Dean (Global Engagement) at the University, said: “Around the world, more people are being forced to flee conflict and persecution to find safety and sanctuary elsewhere. We’re proud to support equal access to higher education for forced migrants, and help every student reach their potential - irrespective of their background. 

“The Sanctuary Scholarship is an important step in our objective to become a University of Sanctuary, where everyone feels safe, welcome, and able to pursue their right to education. 

“This work builds on our commitment to become a leading civic university, our support for academics at risk through the Council of At Risk Academics (CARA), and the advice, support and services we offer  to people seeking sanctuary, through our students, in partnership with local charities.”

The Sanctuary Scholarship is open for applications now.