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University of Sanctuary

The University of Bradford is proud to be a University of Sanctuary and is continually looking at the best ways to welcome asylum seekers and refugees into the University community.

  • We are 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. The University of Bradford is committed to the Bradford City of Sanctuary vision of welcome and we are proud to work closely with the City of Sanctuary and partners in delivering our commitments.
  • Our small working group was formed in 2012 with representatives from the Faculty of Health Studies and the Faculty of Management, Law & 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.
  • The work of Health Studies was launched cross the University during the Diversity Festival in April 2016 and in September 2017 we received our University of Sanctuary award. This was presented to members of the working group at a Sanctuary supper in March 2018.
  • In recent years the University has continued to demonstrate its commitment to supporting asylum seekers and refugees to access and succeed in higher education through ambitions and targets set out in the University’s Access and Participation Plans.

The University of Bradford is proud to have signed the City of Sanctuary Organisation Pledge:

  • We support the 'City of Sanctuary' vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all, and is proud to offer sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution.
  • We endorse the City of Sanctuary Charter, and agree to act in accordance with City of Sanctuary values and apply the network principles within our work (as far as our specific context enables us to).
  • We recognise the contribution of people seeking sanctuary. Sanctuary seekers are welcomed, included and supported within our context.

Supporting Sanctuary Students

At the University of Bradford, we have a wide-range of support on offer for asylum seeker and refugee applicants, including Sanctuary Scholarships. You can find out more about all of this support by visiting our dedicated support page.

If you would like to support Sanctuary Students at the University please visit our ‘Giving to Bradford’ page to find out more about making a donation.

Visit our Sanctuary Scholarship page for details on how to apply.

COVID-19 and Sanctuary


Recent changes to everyday life are impacting all of us, including refugees and asylum seekers. The following allow you to support our City of Sanctuary and the UK's initiatives by doing what you can to advocate on behalf of affected people or make a donation, whichever works for you. Any support is welcome.

University of Sanctuary Training for Staff

Recently updated for 2020, this module is designed to help university staff in developing insights into the lives of our refugee students.

Why take the module?

  • Increase your understanding of the issues that refugee students face
  • Improve your cultural competence and awareness, as part of our commitment to diversity
  • Support the City of Sanctuary initiative.
Global Context Model

Dr Cooper's 'Global Context Model'

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

Universities of Sanctuary offer hope to asylum seekers and refugees

Read the latest from the Higher Education Policy Institute about the value of Universities of Sanctuary. This "stream recognises good practice in universities in the UK which fosters a culture, and a practice, of welcome for people seeking sanctuary. Some Higher Education Institutions (HEI) are located in communities with active City of Sanctuary networks, whilst others are playing a key role in catalysing welcome beyond their campuses. Universities, of course, also offer cutting edge research important to guide wider policy change."


Achievements and news

  • In 2020, the planned This is Me collaborative photography project between the University of Bradford and local schools was able to go ahead online.
  • From 2018-2021, Erasmus+ awarded over 300k euros to the University to collaborate with European partners, investigating vulnerable migrant learners in HE - "LEARNING to Live and Work Together: Improving the Quality of Life for Vulnerable Migrant Students through Integrated Digital Technology Enhanced Support and Transformative Action in Higher Education."
  • In 2018, The Working Group and its city partners were honoured with a Vice-Chancellor's Award for their work.

  • Dr Mel Cooper, Dr Russell Delderfield, Catherine Waskett and Diana Flores presented a keynote at the 8th Making Diversity Interventions Count Conference.

  • As of 2019-20, we had 20 asylum seeking or refugee students accessing undergraduate and postgraduate programmes through Sanctuary Scholarships, working with the Helena Kennedy Foundation Article 26 project.

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.

Support Red Cross work with refugees in Bradford

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

Creating Together Bradford

Creating Together is monthly training for adults to try out and develop new skills in a range of creative arts activities. Sessions are open to everyone and we will explore lots of different creative skills.

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

Get involved

We encourage all staff and students to get involved with the University of Sanctuary initiative, if you would like more information please feel free to contact us: