As someone with Humanitarian Protection (HP), can I go to university?

Yes, as someone with HP, you are eligible to study at university.

Currently the rules about HP, the fees you will pay, and whether you are able to apply for student finance are changing. The Central England Law Centre and Warwick Law in the Community have recently released a helpful toolkit which explains these legal changes in detail.  

If you have HP and have been denied Student Finance the Central England Law Centre may be able to provide you with the advice you need to appeal. Please send an email with the details of your situation to

How can I pay for university?

1. Student finance

There are two main loans you can apply for: 

  • Tuition fee loan - This is a non-means tested loan and is paid directly to the university to cover your fee cost.
  • Maintenance loan - This is a means tested loan and is to help cover your living costs, e.g. rent, food, transport etc. The amount you receive varies depending on where you live and whether you live with family.

Remember this is a loan and has to be repaid once you start earning a salary of £25,000 per year.

Please visit this student finance resource for more information. There is also government funding available for postgraduate students. Please see here for more details.

If you have concerns about taking out a loan for religious reasons, please see here for advice and guidance.

2. Self funding

Often those with a more settled status have the right to work and can self fund their university studies. You may need to use personal savings to pay for your tuition fees and may wish to consider balancing work with studying.

Many degrees can be undertaken part-time or on a flexible basis, such as via distance learning. Please visit this UCAS guide for more information.

3. Scholarships

If you have HP some universities offer scholarships to people from refugee and asylum seeking  backgrounds. Please visit Student Action for Refugees (STAR)’s website for a more comprehensive list. 

You may also wish to visit the funding pages of different universities to find out more about what they can offer.

4. Care leaver support

If you are/ have been a care leaver you may be eligible to receive a grant of up to £2,000 from your local authority towards your university studies. Your university may also have specific funding available for you. Please visit here for more information.

How much does it cost to study at university?

The main costs of university include tuition fees and living costs (such as accommodation, transport, food, etc.). If you have been granted any of the above types of status and have been ‘ordinarily’ resident  in the UK for 3 years you will likely pay tuition fees at 'home' rate, with a cost of up to £9,250 per academic year. This cost may vary depending on the university and course chosen as some fees are slightly lower. Living costs may vary, 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.

However, if you have  been granted any of the above types of status but have not been  “ordinarily resident” in the UK for 3 years, you will pay tuition fees at an ‘international/overseas’ rate.. This costs  may vary depending on university and course chosen, and some fees are significantly higher.

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.

How can I choose a course and university?

How do I apply to university?

What qualifications and documents do I need for university?

Where will I live at university?

What are the alternatives to university?

I have a different problem - what should I do?

Who else can help me?

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