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University of Sanctuary

The University of Bradford has a Sanctuary Working Group, looking at how we can welcome asylum seekers and refugees into our University.

It's part of the University of Sanctuary, a UK-wide initiative aiming to ensure universities foster a culture of welcome and inclusion for asylum seekers and refugees. We have close links to the Bradford City of Sanctuary.

Our small working group was formed in 2012 with representatives from the Faculty of Health Studies and the Faculty of Social Sciences, all of whom had an interest in issues affecting asylum seekers and refugees in relation to research, curriculum development and practice. This working group expanded in 2015, now with representatives from across the University.

In 2015, the Faculty of Health Studies achieved the Sanctuary in Health Award for its work engaging asylum seekers and refugees in Faculty teaching, learning, assessment and research.

We now aim to expand the work of Health Studies across the University to achieve a University of Sanctuary award. The University of sanctuary activity was officially launched during the Diversity Festival in April 2016.


Support Fund for Sanctuary Scholarship Students

We have a number of students who have been awarded a Scholarship by the University.

They are asylum seekers/refugees with no recourse to student finance and would therefore not be able to study in the UK without the scholarship.

They may be experiencing extreme hardship and are not entitled to the hardship fund offered by the University.

We would like to create a support fund specifically for these students and those who will be awarded scholarships in the future.

If you would like to make a regular donation, or donate the pennies from your net pay each month, you can do so via HR ServiceNow. Once you have logged in, search for ‘Support fund for Sanctuary Scholarship Students’ to locate the correct form.


Achievements and news

  • In September 2016 up to five asylum seeking or refugee students will access undergraduate and postgraduate programmes through scholarships, working with the Helena Kennedy Foundation Article 26 project.
  • New article by Mel Cooper and William Lee Mitchell discussing the potential role of higher education institutions in offering a measure of sanctuary to those caught up in the ever-deepening refugee crisis.
  • We are currently developing a bespoke e-module to help University staff understand  Sanctuary as it relates to the University and their work.
  • We are preparing our submission for University of Sanctuary status, to be submitted later this year.

Get involved

We would like staff and students to get involved with this initiative, if you would like more information please contact a member of the University of Sanctuary working group via email:

The Bradford City of Sanctuary

The Bradford City of Sanctuary webpage has a number of volunteering opportunities for anyone who would like to get involved in helping welcome and support refugees and asylum seekers in our city.

Some of these opportunities would provide valuable work-related experience for students in the health professions, psychology or sociology. The list is regularly updated, so if you don't see something that interests you, please check back or contact the City of Sanctuary team and let them know what you're interested in.