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Sanctuary Scholarships

University offers new scholarships for asylum seekers and refugees

Published on: 12 September 2019

Newcastle University has introduced a new scholarship scheme specifically for asylum-seekers and refugees who wish to study at the University.

Sanctuary Scholarships

Applications are now open for the new Sanctuary Scholarships. Three awards will be available each year to support students who wish to study an undergraduate, postgraduate taught or postgraduate research degree. Each scholarship runs for the duration of the course and covers full tuition fees as well as providing a bursary towards living expenses.

The scholarships are available to students from asylum-seeker and refugee backgrounds who have already been offered a place to study at the University’s city centre campus from the start of the 2020/21 academic year.

Professor Peter Hopkins, Dean of Social Justice, Newcastle University, said: “Due to fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a specific social group or political opinion, refugees are forced to search for sanctuary and security in more secure and welcoming places. Newcastle University is committed to offering these new scholarships to the refugee community in the region as part of work to promote social justice.”

The Sanctuary Scholarships are part of Newcastle University’s work towards becoming a University of Sanctuary. This work is co-led by Professor Hopkins and Professor Judith Rankin, Dean of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

Professor Rankin said: “Offering scholarships to students from asylum-seeker and refugee backgrounds is an important part of Newcastle University's commitment to social justice and to equality, diversity and inclusion. They will support our aim of fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion for all.”

Newcastle University campus in the autumn, Arches

Support for refugees and asylum seekers

Newcastle University already has a number of schemes in place to support refugees and asylum seekers.

Last year, Newcastle University Students’ Union received a special commendation at the Times Higher Education Awards for the contribution to the local community made by the North East Solidarity and Teaching (NEST) initiative. Every weekend, student volunteers from the university run a language class on campus helping Syrian refugees of all ages develop their written and spoken English.

The university also contributes to the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) which helps academics and scientists fleeing from discrimination, persecution, suffering and violence in some of the world’s most dangerous places. It also works with a number of charitable foundations to alleviate the suffering of those in such difficult circumstances.

And in 2017, the university pledged its support to Newcastle: City of Sanctuary, a city-wide coalition to welcome refugees and asylum seekers to the city.

Click here for more information about Sanctuary Scholarships and guidance on how to apply. 

For information about the University's work to promote social justice, visit


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