Asylum Seekers & Refugees

We are proud to welcome and support asylum seekers and refugees. We are entirely sympathetic to the many challenges those who have been displaced will be facing and strive to provide the necessary support you may require. One way we can do this is by helping you with any financial barriers you may have in attaining a higher education. That’s why we provide assistance with fees and funding, giving you an opportunity to receive quality higher education here in the UK.  


Do I qualify?

In the UK, a refugee is a person who has fled their country and is seeking protection because of a fear of being persecuted due to their race, religion, nationality, membership of certain social groups, or political opinion. An asylum seeker is someone who has applied for refugee status and is waiting to find out if it has been granted.

Can I receive support in my application to Exeter University?

During the admissions processes, the University takes into consideration the context in which applicants have achieved their academic qualifications. If you are a refugee or asylum seeker, you will receive a contextual offer Exeter contextual offer 

The University will also take into account relevant mitigating circumstances when making offers to postgraduate applicants.

What does contextual offer mean?

This means that when the University are looking at your application the will “take into consideration the context in which applicants have achieved their academic qualifications. If candidates meet certain eligibility criteria, they may make an offer which is lower than the typical entry requirements.”

Financial support

If you fall into one of the two categories, there are two forms of financial support available to you:

Sanctuary Scholarship

The Sanctuary Scholarship scheme is open to asylum seekers and refugees applying for undergraduate and doctoral programmes at the University of Exeter who are not able to access student finance.

The scholarship provides full tuition fee waivers, grants for living costs and research funding where applicable.

For more information, visit Sanctuary Scholarship

Partial tuition fee waiver

The University of Exeter offers a partial tuition fee waiver for undergraduate asylum seekers (those whose cases haven’t yet been decided). This is administered solely at the discretion of the University of Exeter.

For more information, visit  Support for asylum seekers and refugees

Widening Participation Bursary

Can I get student finance?

This will depend on your status and whether you have leave to remain in the UK. If you would like more information about this please contact us. *

Can I get benefits?

We would recommend that you check out the Government information page for a list of support that you could be eligible for. Government Asylum seeker support


Other support

Can I receive any academic support?

The University runs an English Language Development programme English Language skills development for any students who wish to improve their English language skills.

You can also seek help with your studies from the Study Zone Study Zone

Is there wider support available to me in the local community?

There are various local groups, organisations and charities providing assistance to asylum seekers and refugees.

Refugee support Devon  (can we get logo please)

Exeter city of sanctuary   (can we get logo)  

I still have more questions, where can I get more support?

If you still have any more concerns, please get in touch with our Advice team at or go to our Drop in pages for drop-in session times.

Accessibility Tools

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