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The University of Chester aims to make higher education a reality for students who are seeking sanctuary in the UK

University of Chester’s Sanctuary Award - students seeking asylum

Our Sanctuary Award offers a full tuition fee waiver to a student who is:

  • An asylum seeker – a person who has made a claim with the UK for refugee status
  • A person who has been granted some form of temporary status – such as limited leave to remain
  • Dependants or partners of any of the above status groups, whose claim is dependent on a principal applicant

Please note: Spouses/civil partners must have been the spouse/civil partner on the date on which the asylum application was made. Children/step-children must have been aged under 18 on the date on which the asylum application was made.

In addition to the full fee waiver, Sanctuary Scholars will also receive the following support:

  • Up to £2,500 per year in-kind financial support package to help with essential study costs such as laptop/printer, stationery, textbooks, specialist clothes/equipment etc.
  • A link member of staff to talk to if there are any personal, financial or academic issues you have concerns about. Your entitlement will be the same as for any other student and will include support to enable you to identify and overcome barriers to achievement on your programme of study.

Applicants to the Sanctuary Award will need to:

  • Have been offered a place (conditional or unconditional) on an undergraduate or postgraduate programme at the University of Chester (with the exception of NHS-funded programmes which are not eligible for this award) before applying for the Sanctuary Award. 
  • Be unable to access UK Government Student Finance (tuition fee loans or maintenance loans/grants) by virtue of their immigration status
  • Be able to provide evidence that their asylum application is under consideration by the Home Office

Priority will be given to applicants who already live within easy commuting distance of the University of Chester.

The Sanctuary Award is payable in each academic year of the course. This is unless, as a result of an asylum application, you (or your parents or spouse/civil partner) are granted indefinite leave to enter/remain in the UK. If this happens, you must inform the University and the award will cease from the start of the next academic year, when you would be expected to apply for student finance instead.

Sanctuary Award 2024-25 Applications 

Please complete the application form below and read the guidance notes to apply for this award. The deadline for applications is 24th May 2024

To find out more please get in touch with Sandra Hughes (

Useful resources

Please visit the web pages below to find out more information about external sources of funding and support for asylum seekers, refugees and forced migrants.