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Equal Access Scholarship


The daily allowance for asylum seekers in the UK

Only three

Equal Access Scholarships awarded each year


Annual scholarship award

Opening up opportunity for all

Many asylum seekers have faced great challenges in their lives and know that an education is vital to securing a better future.

However, asylum-seeking students cannot access student finance and are classed as overseas students, meaning they have to pay the higher overseas rate of tuition fees, placing any hope of higher education completely out of reach. 

As the asylum process can move very slowly, many people are trapped in limbo for years, unable to work or continue their education and living on as little as £6 per day.

Mithila Roy, BSc in Interactive Media and Uchenna Osigwelem, BEng in Electronics Engineering, Equal Access Scholars

York Refugee Week

As part of our launch for the University of York's recently acquired status as a University of Sanctuary, we are pleased to be one of the main sponsors of York Refugee Week, a series of events that aims to engage and inform and especially to celebrate the contribution that refugees and asylum seekers make to our communities. Refugee Week runs from 14th - 20th June.

Find out more

Equal Access Scholarships

Maryam Taher, Equal Access Scholar

Equal Access Scholarships enable students seeking asylum to access a York education. Each Scholarship provides an annual living costs bursary of £10,660 funded by donations and is matched by the University with a complete tuition fee waiver. Since 2016 we have supported 13 asylum-seeking students to study at York.

In 2019 we increased the number of scholarships available to meet demand and now offer two undergraduate and one postgraduate scholarship every year.  

You can help today


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

University of Sanctuary

Butshilo Nlyea and Rinolsa Lataj, Equal Access Scholars

The University has a long history of being a place of safety for people caught up in conflict and in need of refuge.  In recognition of our sector-leading efforts to expand access for refugee and asylum seekers, we were awarded by ‘University of Sanctuary’ in September 2020.    

As part of this commitment to removing barriers to equality through education, many alumni, friends, current students and staff support Equal Access Scholarships with donations. Please join them by making a gift.

Make a gift

Thank you for improving mine and my family's mental wellbeing and for allowing me to be a good example for my younger brother and others in my community. Thank you for allowing me to make a difference and continuing to do so through my education

Maryam Taher, Equal Access Scholar

If you would like any more information, please email