Equal Access Scholarships for undergraduates

We're pleased to offer two Equal Access Scholarships for undergraduate students who are seeking refuge in the UK. Please note that you must have applied to the University of York before submitting an application for this scholarship.

  • Funding: £12,300 living costs plus a full fee waiver
  • Academic year: 2022/23
  • Open to: Students from International (non- EU) residing and seeking sanctuary in the UK. Please see eligibility criteria for further information.
  • Qualification level: Undergraduate
  • Number available: 2
Applications for 2022/23 are closed.

The scholarship provides:

  • a full fee waiver (you will not need to pay any tuition fees)
  • a maintenance award of up to £12,300 to help with living costs

We are thankful that the University of York achieved a 'University of Sanctuary' award in 2020 in recognition of our efforts to welcome refugees and asylum seekers into our community. The award, led by the charity City of Sanctuary, recognises the efforts of the University's students and staff to welcome forced migrants into the community and promote a culture of inclusion.

Our Equal Access Scholarships support asylum-seeking students to access higher education, and we also provide bursaries for refugee students and dedicated advice and support for all sanctuary seeking students and applicants.

'Getting accepted at university through the Equal Access scholarship has been the most positive highlight in my life, and impacted my life in ways that I will never forget! I am eternally grateful for each and every person that supports this scholarship because I know just how life-changing it can be.'

Maryam Taher, Equal Access Scholar


Open to students from International (non- EU) residing and seeking sanctuary in the UK. Please see eligibility criteria for further information. only.

Open to students currently seeking sanctuary in UK, without access to mainstream funding

To be considered for the scholarship you must:

  • have a conditional or unconditional offer from the University of York for 2022
  • have applied for asylum before you have applied for a place at university
  • not have access to mainstream funding, eg student finance or a local authority grant.

If you are an asylum seeker and have not already done so please apply to the York Access Scheme after submitting your application to the university.

Your current immigration status can be described as one of the following:

  • Discretionary/limited leave to remain (DLR/ LLR)
  • Indefinite leave to remain (ILR)
  • Humanitarian Protection (HP) and do not have access to mainstream funding
  • Awaiting a decision on application for refugee status
  • Leave as an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child (UASC leave)
  • Refused Asylum Seeker - your application for refugee status has been refused and you have submitted an appeal or a fresh claim
  • A dependent or partner of any of the above status groups

If you have already been granted Refugee Status or Humanitarian Protection Status, you may be eligible for financial support from Student Finance England (gov.uk).

You will not be eligible:

  • if you have already completed an undergraduate degree
  • if you are applying to study at the Hull York Medical School
  • if you are applying for the 2 year LLB (Hons) Law (Senior Status)
  • if you are applying for a course which includes work placements and you do not currently have a right to work in the UK

Before applying to study at the University of York you should carefully consider the documentation you have received from the Home Office in relation to your asylum. Please be aware that some programmes require you to undertake work placements that may not be permitted under the terms of your documentation. If you require any advice, please contact us on equal-access-scholarships@york.ac.uk

Asylum seekers without permission to work are advised to seek legal advice if they are considering undertaking a course which includes a work placement. It is very unlikely that the asylum seeker will be able to undertake a placement as part of a course, whether that placement is unpaid, paid, or has an attached training allowance, without first obtaining permission to work. In any case, they should not start the course without obtaining the advice of their immigration lawyer or Home Office case-owner, as they might need to have the conditions changed and/or any allowances might have an impact on their entitlement to financial support.

How to apply

Application deadline: Thursday 31 March 2022, 11.59pm BST

You must apply online for this scholarship using our scholarship application form.

As part of the application, you will need to provide:

  • your UCAS personal ID (this is 10 digits long and can be found on your offer letter)
  • your York Application ID (this is 9 digits long and can be found on your offer letter)
  • a supporting statement
  • evidence of your asylum status, for example your biometric residence permit.

You may be asked to provide an additional reference in support of your application from a school, college, community or voluntary group, in addition to your UCAS reference. We will contact you directly if we require this.

Supporting statement

We recommend that you prepare your supporting statement before you start your application. Our panel will carefully assess your supporting statement when considering your application for the scholarship. In 600 words or less please tell us:

  • Why you want to study at York
  • How this scholarship and your chosen course will help you achieve your ambitions for the future
  • How you hope to contribute to society in the future, following your studies.
How we allocate

This is a competitive process. Two applicants will each receive the undergraduate award.

A panel from the University will select the successful scholarship awardees.

When assessing your application, the panel will consider: 

That you meet the eligibility criteria as outlined above 

Your supporting statement 

  • Why you want to study at York (maximum score of 4)
  • How this scholarship and your chosen course of study will help you achieve your ambitions for the future (maximum score of 4)
  • How you hope to contribute to society in the future (maximum score of 4)

We aim to inform you of the outcome of your scholarship application by early May.

Terms and conditions

Before commencing study at the university 

If you are successful, you must make the University of York your firm choice university on your UCAS application in order to receive the scholarship.  

If you receive any notification of a change to your immigration status during the application period or before commencing your course, you must email equal-access-scholarships@york.

Please see our eligibility section to see courses are exempt from the scholarship and advice on courses with work placements for example: nursing, midwifery, social work. 

While studying at the university 

You must inform Tracey Clarke, Student Support Services at student-hub@york.ac.uk immediately if you receive any notification of a change to your Asylum Status during your time at the university. We will contact the successful undergraduate applicants to provide an annual update on their residency status each spring.

If you receive a notification of a change in your Asylum Status which means that you become eligible for student financial support from the UK government, you must make an application for support for the next academic year. For example, if you start a course with Asylum Status in September and are then granted Refugee Status in November, you must apply for UK government student financial support for all future academic years of the course. The Student Support hub can provide you with support and advice for applying for Student Finance for the first time.

If you receive notification that you are liable to be detained, your scholarship will be suspended for the duration of your detention. We will support you to help you resume your studies if your status enables you to continue.

Your scholarship will be renewed for each year of your course providing you satisfactorily progress through to the next year of study and you maintain your registration as a full-time student.

If at any point during the application process or after you start your studies, you are informed by the Home Office that you should not be studying at University, you will no longer be eligible for the award. We will deem you withdrawn and you will be expected to leave your studies immediately.

Contact us

Got a question about applying to York? Email our friendly International Team for advice and support.

If you've already applied to study at York please use You@York to upload any documents. Please do not email documents to us.

+44 (0)1904 324 000