University of Edinburgh to provide scholarships for asylum-seekers

A Scottish university has announced measures to help asylum-seeking students meet the costs of their education.

The University of Edinburgh is set to provide five fully-funded scholarships for undergraduate students seeking asylum. Image: Ian Georgeson

The University of Edinburgh said it will provide fully-funded scholarships for five undergraduate students admitted this year, under what it said was one of the best packages of support available in the UK.

Additional undergraduate students seeking asylum will pay tuition fees of £1,820 and not the rates applied to international students, which are around nine times higher. The sum of £1,820 is the same amount the Student Awards Agency for Scotland currently contributes for each Scottish student’s education per year.

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Financial support is also being made available for postgraduate asylum-seeking students.

One student taking a taught master’s degree will be able to get a full scholarship, while further asylum seekers on similar programmes will be liable for around half the costs that would normally apply to overseas students, the university said.

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The institution also said it will continue to support student refugees arriving in the capital from Syria, with three masters students having scholarships and living costs paid for in 2016.

And £100,000 will be set aside to provide other forms of assistance, including English language support, for new students who are asylum seekers or refugees.

Edinburgh Principal Professor Sir Tim O’Shea said: “We want to support the aspiration of asylum seekers to continue their education at the University of Edinburgh.

“Asylum seekers are routinely charged international fees and are not permitted to apply for any student loans, effectively placing a University education beyond their financial means.

“We are therefore offering one of the best packages of support for asylum seekers in the UK, delivering access that would not otherwise be possible.”