University of Sanctuary logo

UEA is in its fourth year of being a recognised University of Sanctuary, an accreditation given to universities that show an ongoing commitment to creating a welcoming culture of inclusivity and awareness.

UEA is proud to welcome people seeking sanctuary (asylum seekers and refugees) into their community, recognising the wealth of experience and knowledge they bring. 


The UEA University of Sanctuary initiative is run by a university wide steering group, consisting of over 40 members of staff and students. The initiative is led by Anna Robinson-Pant, Professor in Education, School of Education and Lifelong Learning, and supported by Madi Dutton, the Sanctuary Liaison Officer. 

The University of Sanctuary initiative grew out of the City of Sanctuary movement. City of Sanctuary is a non-governmental movement which promotes action to foster greater inclusion and integration in the UK, with a key focus on supporting refugees and asylum seekers. It holds the vision that ‘our nations will be welcoming places of safety for all and proud to offer sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution’. Succeeding in this vision requires us to promote greater understanding and recognition of the ways in which people seeking sanctuary enrich society. 

The Universities of Sanctuary initiative currently engages with sanctuary seekers in multiple activities, including learning and teaching, student support, delivery of events such as UEA Refugee week, research projects, partnerships with community organisations and through the UEA scholarship programme.


UEA Sanctuary Scholarship programme

UEA is committed to helping reduce the barriers to participation in higher education faced by those seeking asylum in the UK and is pleased to off the following scholarships. Details of the eligibility criteria for all three types of scholarships can be found at

University of Sanctuary Scholarship


Undergraduate or Postgraduate students who are seeking asylum in the UK and wish to study at the UEA in 2021/22 are welcome to apply for a scholarship. The successful applicants will receive a full tuition fee scholarship and a bursary of £3,000 a year towards living costs and course related expenses.

Fees only scholarship


UEA also offers a fees only scholarship for sanctuary applicants who have Refugee status or Humanitarian Protection and are ineligible for course fee loan funding from Student Finance England due to their possessing a qualification that is equal to or lower than the course qualification being aimed for, may apply for a fees only award.

UEA/INTO UEA Pre-sessional English Scholarship


UEA and INTO UEA are jointly sponsoring a fully funded 12-week pre-sessional English course. The course is available to any applicant from a forced migration background (all statuses are eligible) who intends to study at University but does not meet the English language requirement of the course. The successful applicants will receive Full tuition fees for the 12-week course and a bursary of £1000 to cover living costs whilst studying.

Scholarship Application Support

One to One Guidance Sessions 

UEA University of Sanctuary initiative members are offering one to one guidance sessions for those who are interested in finding out more about applying for a Sanctuary Scholarship. Members of staff are on hand to discuss the following areas: 

Sanctuary Scholarship Process: Find out more about the Sanctuary Scholarships, including the eligibility criteria and application process 

Personal Statements: Tips and guidance on how to write an effective personal statement from a member of staff located in the faculty you wish to study in 

The one to one guidance sessions can be run over the phone or via the following platforms - Skype and Teams. If you are interested in booking a session, please
contact the Sanctuary Liaison Officer.

University of Sanctuary events 

UEA Refugee week, 15-19 March 2021 

A week of online events celebrating the contribution of refugees to the UK, whilst promoting a better understanding of why people seek sanctuary.

Online Seminar Series 

Decolonising Academia: Realisation and Beyond 

In this seminar series ‘Decolonising Academia: Realisation and Beyond’, we focus on what ‘decolonisation’—a term that has gained much traction in recent times and has generated various critique—entails in academia, and the role of academics in challenging colonial structures that form the foundations of the modern world. This seminar series is organised by PhD researchers in International Development and Politics: Francesca Chiu, Touseef Mir, and Moé Suzuki, supported by the School of International Development and the University of Sanctuary.


Find out more about the
UEA University of Sanctuary Initiative


University of Sanctuary - events for UEA Refugee Week

  • Mar 15, 2021 00:00AM
  • Online
  • Seminar
  • Free

15-19 March 2021 - keep a diary date for UoS events