Refugees and Asylum Seekers

University Centre Leeds is an official University Centre of Sanctuary after being awarded the status in May 2023. University Centre Leeds is committed to becoming a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary. We want all students, staff and the wider community to understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary. 

We want to help refugees and asylum seekers by addressing barriers including overcoming financial, emotional and cultural hurdles, and supporting them to achieve their potential. Our brand values mean that we endeavour to continue supporting and reducing barriers, and meet the needs of each and every student. We believe every student has the right to learn and excel and we value students from all walks of life. 

Refugees and Asylum Seekers 

A refugee is someone who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. A refugee has been given permission to stay in the UK, and has been granted official ‘refugee’ status by the Home Office.  

An asylum seeker is someone who has applied for refugee status and is waiting to find out if it has been granted. 

If you would like further information on the different official status options please visit UK Visas and Immigration. 

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University of Sanctuary

A sanctuary is a place of refuge or rest, a place where you can feel at peace from persecution, or other danger. 

The University of Sanctuary is a national network of university staff, lecturers, academics and students. The aim is to make University Centre Leeds a place of safety, solidarity and empower people seeking sanctuary.

Further sources of information and support

Fees & Finance - University Centre Leeds - Please contact if you require further information. 

UKCISA - Provides information regarding eligibility for Home or Overseas fees for students wishing to study a higher education (HE) course in England. 

University of Sanctuary - To develop a culture and a practice of welcome within institutions, the wider community, and across the Higher Education sector in the UK. 

Refugee Education UK - offers support services and resources to help students access university along with training for practitioners. 

Hope for the Young - offers grants, living allowances, or educational resources for those who have no access to government funds. Funds are available for people aged 16 - 25. 

Star Action for Refugees - national network of students building a more understanding and just society where refugees are welcomed and can thrive in the UK. 

ESOL Classes at Leeds City College - One of the key elements of integration into UK society, in order to encourage self-sufficiency and enhance access to opportunities 

News - Leeds City College - A helpful guide to supporting refugees and asylum seekers. 

New to Leeds - A guide for migrants moving to Leeds from abroad 

Welcome to Bradford - A Guide to Life in Bradford ( 

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