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Sanctuary Scholarship

Sanctuary Scholarship

Degree Type Undergraduate Award Type Scholarship Fee Status Type International
Full tuition fee reduction and £12,000 towards living costs for a student who has fled persecution and is seeking asylum in the UK.

One scholarship is available to a new eligible undergraduate in any subject.

Find out how the Sanctuary Scholarship benefited our alumna Kehinde. 

You can find other support for student refugees via the Schwab and Westheimer Trust website

Am I eligible?

  • Asylum seeker, the child of an asylum seeker or hold Discretionary Leave to Remain
  • Ineligible to obtain funding from the Student Loan Company (tuition fee loan or maintenance loan)
  • Right to study in the UK
  • Hold an offer to study an undergraduate course at Royal Holloway
  • Have evidence you have sought asylum on arrival in the UK and that your asylum application is under consideration by the Home Office.

Please note, a cash living cost grant may jeopardise eligibility for asylum support and upon receipt of funds, there is a risk that a student may be deemed not destitute and asylum support will be withdrawn. Advice for asylum seekers who wish to study at university is available at STAR or Asylum Support Appeals Project.

How do I apply?

Applications for this scholarship have closed.

If you're applied, we'll let you know from Monday 29 April 2024 if you've been successful. 


Royal Holloway is committed to supporting students who have fled persecution and are seeking asylum to benefit from Higher Education. If you're able to support us, for example by helping to fund a Sanctuary Scholarship, please contact

You will need to write a scholarship statement of no more than 1,000 words which should include:

  1. The county of origin that you have left to claim asylum status
  2. The terms of which you are claiming asylum status (e.g. political, religious, educational etc.) and provide details about that reason
  3. Reference to your current status in the UK
  4. Details of the date you arrived in the UK and the current status of your asylum application
  5. Details of your personal and family circumstances and what barriers you have overcome to continue with your education
  6. Academic achievements you are particularly proud of and why these really matter to you
  7. Why you have chosen to do the degree you have applied for
  8. What your future aspirations are and how the scholarship will help you to achieve your future goals
  9. Any other information that we could consider before making an award.

Applications which exceed the word count will automatically be rejected. 

You must also submit a referee’s supporting statement. This should be written by someone who knows you and should include:

  • Details of your personal and financial circumstances and the barriers you have overcome to continue your education
  • How well suited you are to the course you plan to take and how realistic your ambitions are
  • What contribution, to their knowledge, you have made to school/college life and your community
  • How they believe you would benefit from the Sanctuary Scholarship
  • Any other information relevant to your application.

It is strongly advised that you provide your referee with a copy of your scholarship statement ahead of them writing their supporting statement.

Your referee will need to provide their name and contact details and outline in what capacity they know you.

You must also provide a copy of your immigration documents. These, and your referee’s supporting statement, should be uploaded on to the applicant portal. 

If you have any queries please email

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