Sheffield will offer a scholarship for asylum seekers

It is the first UK university to do so

The University of Sheffield is the first uni in the country to offer a scholarship program to asylum seekers from across the country. 

The scheme, which was confirmed in February and launched for this academic year, offers a full tuition fee waiver and a living costs grant of almost £10,000 to 2 applicants each year.

Fifteen other Universities currently offer similar programs, but only for local asylum seekers.

Sheffield welcomes refugees

The Sheffield scholarship is open to anyone in the UK who has officially applied for asylum and holds an offer with the uni.

Up until this point, asylum seekers have been treated as international students, and forced to pay international fees which can reach £36,000.

Head of Financial Support Catherine McKeown said: “The aim of the scholarship is to give bright individuals an opportunity to gain a higher education.

“Given their background, this would be otherwise unattainable.

“The scholarship is an opportunity to be like any other student, leaving behind what they have been through.

“For many years, the University has worked to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds and this is just another example.”

Sheffield is a University of Sanctuary, a movement that pledges to build a culture of welcome and support for asylum seekers and refugees.

As well as financial support, the uni is currently working on other initiatives to offer free English lessons and free access to online resources to local asylum seekers.

Sheffield RAG have also launched a fundraising appeal on behalf of the Union, co-ordinating monetary collections from both staff and students.

They’ve so far raised nearly £1000, money which will be distributed to charities operating on the ground who are distributing key supplies.

In a joint statement, the Vice Chancellor Keith Burnet and SU President Christy McMorrow said: “As we approach a new academic year, we do so aware of the biggest refugee crisis since the second world war.

“The University and Students’ Union are committed to doing our part to help welcome refugees and are ready in particular to assist our city as required. This has been our tradition since this institution was founded”