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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement



Refugees and Access to Higher Education

How can we facilitate access of refugees and asylum-seekers to higher education in the UK? This page includes discussion of the issues relating to access to Higher Education for refugees and asylum seekers, and signposts to information sources within the University and beyond that may be helpful to staff or prospective applicants.


Refugees and access to HE

In this session, we discuss current access of refugees to higher education, the problems they face and what universities can do to facilitate refugee access to higher education with Dan Webb from Refugee Education and students from refugee backgrounds (June 2021).



Advice for refugee applicants

This session is geared towards interested students considering applying to competitive UK universities for undergraduate degrees. Esme Page (Admissions Coordinator, Newnham College) and Amber Cuttill (Head of Widening Participation, Pembroke College) talk about applying to UK universities, what students should think about when choosing a university and what top UK universities look for in a prospective student (June 2021).



Information and training for admissions and outreach staff

Refugee Education delivered a one hour information and training session regarding the challenges forced migrants face when considering Higher Education in the UK, and how the University of Cambridge can consider addressing these (Sept. 2021).



Cambridge Refugee Scholarships

The Rowan Williams Cambridge Studentship is a full-cost scholarship for undergraduate or graduate applicants to the University of Cambridge who face severe barriers in accessing higher education. For more information, visit the Trust website and Cambridge Refugee Scholarship Campaign site as well as their studentship guide. See also letters from students.

The Quantedge-Cambridge Refugee Scholarship, established in 2020, is available annually to support one student, who has been awarded ‘refugee status’ in the UK, to study for an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) at King’s College, Cambridge. All MPhil subjects offered by the College are eligible for the Scholarship. 

Guidance for refugees and asylum-seekers, particularly for the Foundation Year.  


Cambridge Foundation Year

The Cambridge Foundation Year offers a route to Cambridge degrees in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for applicants who have experienced educational disruption or disadvantage. Refugees and asylum seekers are one of the groups of students eligible for the programme. Find out more about the programme here. Also see the specific guidance for refugees and asylum seekers.


UK Universities Refugee Scholarships

The UK University Scholarship Directory provides an overview of universities in the UK that offer funding for refugees and/or asylum seekers.



Further advice and support

UK Council for International Student Affairs for information on fee status

The STAR scholarship list for students who cannot access Student Finance because of their fee status

Refugee Education HE Advice

University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is the site for making university applications

IntoUniversity supports young persons in education and preparing for university

Information on undergraduate study at Cambridge and the application process

University of Cambridge Foundation Year

HE Plus has many super-curricular resources