University of East Anglia

University of Sanctuary Scholarships

UEA is committed to helping reduce the barriers to participation in higher education faced by those seeking sanctuary in the UK.
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“Living a Peaceful life is a privilege for most human beings worldwide. I was born and raised in war and luckily stayed alive.

Growing up I experienced many inequalities in society, where girls are devalued and regarded as family burdens. I had to get over the traumatic experience of having to accept the fact that carrying books, pencils, and notebooks is not a sin but rather a fundamental human right.

Persecution and conflict in my homeland have shattered my career and broken my spirit. Until I fled my country, made it to the United Kingdom, and received a sanctuary scholarship from the University of East Anglia. In my life, the sanctuary scholarship was a turning moment, allowing me to go back to university for a master's degree in public policy; it healed my broken spirit and gave me the courage to start again from scratch and rebuild my life and profession and have hope to dream about a better future.

The sanctuary scholarship not only allowed me to continue my study but also improved my mental health. Simply it changed my life. In addition, the sanctuary community became like a second family to me, and their support was crucial in helping me to adjust and integrate into society.

To everyone at the University of East Anglia who helped me through my journey, I want to say thank you, and I’m grateful for your transformative support. I hope to give back one day more than I received by contributing to my community and helping people in need, especially deprived women and children, using the experience, knowledge, and network I gained through the sanctuary scholarship programme.” Bahara, 2022-2023

Every day, all over the world, people make one of the most difficult decisions in their lives: to leave their homes in search of a safer, better life.

Working towards a world where people can live safe, fulfilled lives, free from fear and danger, is a global responsibility, and UEA is taking action. Accredited in 2018, we are proud to be a University of Sanctuary where we welcome refugees and asylum-seekers fleeing violence and persecution to help them rebuild their lives. Our motto ‘Do Different’ inspires us to provide life-changing opportunities regardless of a person’s background, and offer safety, solidarity, and empowerment to those in need.

The asylum process is unpredictable and often long, and many of our sanctuary scholars find that their immigration status means that they can neither work nor access Student Finance England. This makes them solely reliant on the financial support from UEA’s University of Sanctuary initiative. Without this financial provision, they would be unable to embark on a life-changing opportunity here at UEA.

2023 sees over 108 million people forcibly displaced around the world. In this context, UEA has received a record number of outstanding applications for its sanctuary scholarships. Currently we can only support 4% of these applications with a scholarship.

We need your help to change this.

We know that scholarships allow survivors of violence and persecution to start rebuilding their lives. Once at the UEA, we work with sanctuary scholars to ensure they are fully supported so that they can thrive.

Our sanctuary scholars receive full tuition fee support, and are awarded a yearly bursary towards living costs and course related expenses.

We are asking for your support:

- £10 can buy a bicycle helmet, aiding a sanctuary scholar to be able to cycle to the university and save on travel expenses. Since 2018, we have worked with Dr Bike to provide over 30 students and their families with bicycles.

- £50 can buy food allowing sanctuary scholars to come together through the project “Sanctuary in my Kitchen” to cook and eat together.

- £200 can provide a welcome pack for a sanctuary family, so they can buy the basic things they need when they first arrive.

- £9000 can provide a living stipend for one year, allowing a sanctuary seeker to study on a University Masters Programme.

To hear more about what the UEA sanctuary community means to scholars involved, please watch the incredible films made by some members of the sanctuary community this year as a part of The Suitcase Project.

With forced displacement at the highest level ever recorded, here at UEA we are coming together to make a difference. UEA’s University of Sanctuary initiative is providing those seeking refuge with us the opportunity and support they need to embark on a higher education degree and begin their new lives here in Norwich. Philanthropy is the key to making this possible for more sanctuary seekers and to ensure UEA’s Sanctuary Team can respond to the increasing demand for scholarship and requests we are experiencing.

Please donate to support UEA’s University of Sanctuary Scholarships initiative today. To find out more about the University of Sanctuary initiative please contact and the Development Office at

About the charity

University of East Anglia

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We use the power of philanthropy to fund and further the UEA's ground-breaking work. Together with our donors, we tackle the world's greatest challenges and transform lives.

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