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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


Help us support more students

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

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 over 20 asylum-seeking students to study at York.

It is thanks to the support of many alumni, friends, current students and staff that we’ve been able to increase the number of scholarships available to meet demand and now aim to offer two undergraduate and one postgraduate scholarship every year. Please join them by making a gift.

Make a gift 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 ‘University of Sanctuary’ in September 2020.    

Our responsibility as a University of Sanctuary means that we are committed to being a ‘University for All’. One of the ways we continue to demonstrate this commitment is by providing Equal Access Scholarships for students from displaced communities.

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“I think the University of Sanctuary is very important for the University because it is an acknowledgement of the very real strides that we have made as an academic community in creating equal access scholarships and bursaries which have really been life changing for those who have been able to benefit from them. But it also recognises York’s achievement of City of Sanctuary status that a number of staff and current and former students have been centrally involved in, as well as the donations of money and time that members of the University and alumni have made in order to create a culture of welcome and support for people with refugee backgrounds in the city and university.”

Professor Simon Parker, Donor to the Equal Access Scholarship, Co-Chair of the University of York Migration Network

If you would like any more information, please email