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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. The University of Bradford is committed to the Bradford City of Sanctuary vision of welcome and its charter.
  • 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.


Apply for a 2020 Sanctuary scholarship.

I’m Sarah and I’m the Student Life Manager here at Bradford. I can help you with any queries you have about university life. Please do get in touch if you have any questions or need some support, you can email me: Sarah Jones, the University's contact for Sanctuary Students.

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'

Staff Training Module

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team.

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 has been able to go ahead online.


  • 2018-2021: Erasmus+ award 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 have 20 asylum seeking or refugee students accessing undergraduate and postgraduate programmes through Sanctuary Scholarships, working with the Helena Kennedy Foundation Article 26 project. & of these are new to the university this academic year.

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.

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.

Creating Together Bradford

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team.

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: