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University of Bradford’s Sanctuary Scholarship scheme now open


campus 2022

Applications are now open for the University of Bradford’s 2022 Sanctuary Scholarship scheme.

Launched last year, the scholarships are designed to make it easier for asylum seekers and refugees to enter higher education.

Under the scheme, each applicant can apply for a £4,000-a-year grant, subject to terms and conditions.

Prof Zahir Irani, Deputy Vice Chancellor said: “This is a concrete example of our commitment to inclusion. It demonstrates our commitment to social mobility and positive action. We want to engage as many students as possible, to give them a welcoming environment in which they can co-create knowledge and make a meaningful contribution to society.

“This scheme also shows that we’re serious about improving social mobility - indeed, we have just been ranked number one in England for the second year running by the Social Mobility Index, which is a new way of ranking universities based on their ability to improve people’s chances in life.”

Successful ‘sanctuary scholarship’ applicants already receive a ‘no tuition fee’ place at the University but prior to the introduction of the new scheme in 2021, the annual study support grant stood at £500. This was increased to £4,000. The University of Bradford awards 10 sanctuary scholarships each year.

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The University of Bradford became one of the UK’s first Universities of Sanctuary in 2017, in recognition of its work to foster a culture inclusion for asylum seekers and refugees. This followed five years of work training and developing learning packages to educate staff and students. Bradford is already a City of Sanctuary and the University has developed strong links, including encouraging students to take up volunteering opportunities to help welcome and support refugees and asylum seekers in the city.

A critical element of enabling individuals to not only access but progress and succeed in higher education is having an appropriate level of financial support in place, as this remains a significant barrier.

Previously, Emma Young, Head of Student Success Services, said: “Our Sanctuary Scholarships, designed for those who would not be eligible for funding via any other means, is one of the ways in which we live by those values and commitments…

“The Sanctuary Scholarship is always a much sought after and competitive award and we know it is always highly valued and makes a real difference to recipients.”

The University was ranked #1 in the new Social Mobility Index in 2021 and again in 2022. Previous to this, the University was also named University of the Year for Social Inclusion 2019/20 by The Times and Sunday Times.

It has also been cited as “an exemplar in the way it approaches cultural factors that can hinder social mobility" by the Rt Hon Justine Greening, founder of the Purpose Coalition, which exists to promote the improvement of social mobility.

Equality, diversity and inclusion comprise one of the four key priority areas for the University, as part of its five-year strategic plan (2020-25).