Birmingham named as University of Sanctuary

The University has been awarded University of Sanctuary status – recognising its efforts to make the institution a place of safety, solidarity and empowerment for people forced to flee their homes.

The status reflects the University’s response to the global refugee crisis affecting many communities across the world. The award commended the commitment of staff, students and partners in fostering a place of sanctuary, with a wide range of departments across the University active in supporting asylum seekers and refugees. 

As part of its wide-reaching response, the University offers five Sanctuary Scholarships per year for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students who have sought refuge in the UK. Many are fleeing war and the destruction of their homes at an age when their peers in other countries are applying to universities and studying for exams. Due to their residency status, these students would not be able to access student loans or other sources of statutory funding.

The scholarship scheme provides opportunities for those taking undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses with a full tuition-fee waiver, £5,000 per year of study to help with living costs and fully-funded University accommodation. 

Tony Edwards (BSc Production Engineering, 1966), who supports the Sanctuary Scholarships, says: ‘Hearing about the journeys some of these young people have taken to be here, including those from Afghanistan and Ukraine, made me reflect on how fortunate I am. These scholarships can be transformative and so I was moved to help these deserving students in realising their ambitions here are Birmingham.’  

One Sanctuary scholar says: ‘First and foremost, earning my degree has opened up a world of opportunities for me. With this qualification, my chances of realising my dream career have significantly increased. I am now equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this field, and I owe this achievement to your unwavering support. 

‘The quality of education, the diversity of students and faculty, and the campus facilities have all enriched my learning journey.’ 

Get in touch if you’d like to know more about supporting students who have had to flee their homes, or ways to enable our pioneering research into migration.