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Sanctuary Scholarship

Sanctuary Scholarship

Royal Holloway aims to promote access to Higher Education for students who have fled persecution and sought asylum in the UK.

One scholarship is available to new eligible undergraduates in any subject.

The scholarship is offered as a full tuition fee reduction, available for three years of study and a Friendly Hand Maintenance Bursary of £12,000 per annum

Am I eligible?

To be considered for the Sanctuary Scholarship, you must:

  • Be an asylum seeker, the child of an asylum seeker or hold Discretionary Leave to Remain.
  • Be ineligible to obtain funding from the Student Loan Company (tuition fee loans or maintenance loans).
  • Have a right to study in the UK
  • Hold an offer to study an undergraduate course at Royal Holloway.
  • Submit a completed scholarship application form by the deadline.

A strong scholarship statement and positive referee’s supporting statement is also required.

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2021/2022 academic year have now closed.

You will need to write a scholarship statement of no more than 500 words, which should include:

  • academic achievements you are particularly proud of and why these really matter to you
  • why you have chosen to do the degree you have applied for
  • what your future aspirations are and how the scholarship will help you to achieve your future goals. 

For this application you must also include:

  • with specific reference to your current status in the UK, details of your personal and family circumstances and what barriers you have overcome to continue with your education.
  • information about when you arrived in the UK and the current status of your asylum application.

You must also submit a referee’s supporting statement. This should be written by someone who knows you and should include:

  • Details of your personal and financial circumstances and the barriers you have overcome to continue your education
  • How well suited you are to the course you plan to take and how realistic your ambitions are
  • What contribution, to their knowledge, you have made to school/college life and your community
  • How they believe you would benefit from the Sanctuary Scholarship
  • Any other information relevant to your application.

It is strongly advised that you provide your referee with a copy of your scholarship statement ahead of them writing their supporting statement.

Your referee will need to provide their name and contact details and outline in what capacity they know you.

You must also provide a copy of your immigration documents. These, and your referee’s supporting statement, should be uploaded on to Royal Holloway Direct as part of your scholarship application.

You need to be able to provide evidence that you’ve sought asylum on arrival in the UK and that your asylum application is under consideration by the Home Office. Students who have refugee status are not eligible for this scholarship.

If you are on a three-year undergraduate degree and choose to spend your second year abroad, you will have any tuition fees owing to Royal Holloway waived by this scholarship. However, no additional cash award will be made in these circumstances.

If you are on a four-year undergraduate degree and spend your third year on a study abroad placement you will not receive any scholarship funding for that third year. However, the full tuition fee reduction will apply for your fourth year.

If you fulfil the eligibility criteria you will remain eligible for the award unless:

  • you (or your parents or spouse/civil partner) are granted indefinite leave to enter/ remain in the UK   


  • you become eligible to receive funding from the Student Loan Company (either tuition fee loan or maintenance loan).

In these circumstances, you must inform the university immediately and the award will cease from the start of the next academic year, when you would be expected to apply for student finance instead.

If you are awarded the scholarship, you will be expected to provide a student profile for marketing purposes, a letter of thanks to the donor and provide a summary of your experience at the end of your course. You will also be expected to meet the donor at least once (if appropriate).

Read our full terms and conditions.

If you have any queries please email

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