I have one of the following:
Limited leave to remain (LLR),
Discretionary leave to remain (DLR),
UASC leave to remain
Can I go to university?
Yes. The important thing to remember is that, with any of the types of status listed above, you are allowed to go to university. You will likely be charged tuition fees at an ‘international/overseas’ rate and won’t be eligible for student finance (the loans from the government that other students can apply for). However, if you have resided in the UK for a long period of time, you may qualify for ‘home’ fee status (and funding) due to long residency.
To be eligible for student finance funding under the long residence category you must be a resident in England on the first day of the first academic year of your course, hold one of the above types of status and have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands throughout the three-year period immediately before the first day of the first academic year of your course. You must also be either:
- under 18 years old having lived in the UK for at least 7 years before the first day of the first academic year of your course; or
- aged 18 years and above having either spent at least half your life in the UK or at least 20 years in the UK prior to the first day of the first academic year of your course.
See below for more information about how to pay for university.
For more detailed information about access to higher education for young refugees and migrants, see the Migrant Children’s Project’s page about this topic.
How can I pay for university?
If you have one of the types of status listed above then it is likely you won’t be able to access student finance, unless you meet the long residence category for ‘home’ fee status (see above). You will need to arrange another way to pay for university.
1. University scholarships
Many universities offer scholarships for those who can’t access student finance on account of their immigration status. All of these have different names but these are sometimes called Sanctuary Scholarships, Equal Access, or Article 26 awards. These usually pay your tuition fees and often also provide extra funding for your living costs.
For up to date lists of which universities offer scholarships, please visit Student Action for Refugees (STAR)’s website and on the Article 26 website. Although many of these are for undergraduate degrees, some are for postgraduate studies.
2. Private scholarships
There are a small number of private scholarships available for those who cannot get other funding for their studies. These include the Grenfell scholarship, and the Westheimer, Brittan, Marks Family Charitable Foundation scholarships. Please click here for more details.
How much does it cost to go to university?
The main costs of university include tuition fees and living costs (such as accommodation, transport, food, etc.). With any of the types of status listed above you will likely pay tuition fees at an ‘international/overseas’ rate, unless you meet the long residence category criteria for ‘home’ fee status (see above). This cost may vary depending on the university and course chosen. Living costs vary similarly each year, depending on where you study, whether you need to pay for accommodation, and other factors.
On average you may need to budget for £1,000 per month (minimum) to cover your living costs. For more help with working out your budget, please visit this resource.