Support for Asylum Seekers

Article 26 is a project supported by the Helena Kennedy Foundation which is committed to supporting disadvantaged students and enabling them to continue their studies in higher education.

For 2017 entry we will be offering 2 Article 26 Scholarships for students who are seeking asylum in the UK and do not have access to student finance.

The scholarship offers a 100% tuition fee waiver for an undergraduate course (with the exception of NHS funded courses and Foundation Year courses). 

The Guidance Notes provided below should help you to decide whether you are eligible for the scholarship and how to apply. Applicants must have received an offer from Keele BEFORE applying for the scholarship. 

If you are uncertain about your eligibility and would like to discuss this or have any questions about the process please contact the Student Services Centre on 01782 734481 or email

Please note: Applications are now closed. Applications for 2018 entry will open in January so please keep checking these pages for more information. 


Am I Eligible?

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must meet these strict eligibility criteria and be in a position to verify their circumstances in order to apply. Applicants who do not meet the criteria will not be considered for an award. Please read the eligibility criteria carefully as follows:

  • An asylum seeker or the partner/dependant of an asylum seeker OR
  • An asylum seeker/partner/dependent who has been granted Discretionary Leave to Remain (DLR) or some other form of temporary status

Please note: Spouses/civil partners must have been the spouse/civil partner on the date which the asylum application was made. Children/step-children must have been aged under 18 on the date on which the asylum application was made.


  • To have been offered a place (conditional or unconditional) on an undergraduate programme at Keele University BEFORE applying for the Article 26 Award. (With the exception of NHS funded programmes and Foundation Year programmes which are not eligible for this award)
  • To be unable to access UK Government Student Finance (tuition fee loans or maintenance loans/grants) because of their current immigration status
  • To be able to provide evidence that they have sought asylum on arrival in the UK and that their asylum application is under consideration by the Home Office
  • Priority will be given to applicants who live within easy commuting distance of Keele University

The Article 26 Award is payable in each academic year of the course. This is unless, as a result of an asylum application, you (or your parents or spouse/civil partner) are granted indefinite leave to enter/remain in the UK. If this happens, you must inform the University and the award will cease from the start of the next academic year, when you would be expected to apply for student finance instead.

What does the Award Include?

The Article 26 Award provides:

Tuition Fee Support: Successful students will be offered a 100% tuition fee waiver place at university until such time as they are awarded status that entitles them to access student finance.

Personal Support: In addition to fee remission, support will also be developed for each student to enable them to identify and overcome barriers to achievement on their degree programme.

Keele University will not be able to provide any financial support for accommodation or living costs. Students should only apply if they are able to support these costs themselves during their university course. 

How do I Apply?

Application and Selection process

Before making an application for the Article 26 Award please ensure that you meet our eligibility criteria. If you have any questions about whether or not you should apply for an award please contact the Student Services Centre on 01782 734481 or email

How to apply

Applicants will need to read the guidance notes fully and complete an online application form.

The completed application form should be given to your supporting Referee who should be asked to complete a supporting statement

All application forms must be signed by the Principal of the school or college or a Senior Manager of the voluntary or community group supporting the student’s application. 

Completing the Application Form

Completing the application form

There are five sections to complete in the application form. Please note that the information you provide in the form will be held and processed in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.

Note 1: Personal details
  • Please complete the personal information section of the form – we need this information to contact you about your application. Please type or print your details clearly.
  • Please ensure that you put your name as you would want to see it on, for example, a certificate, with your first name in one box and your second name in the other. You don’t need to include your middle names.
  • Please tell us which college, school or community or voluntary organisation you currently attend and which course or courses you are studying (if appropriate). If you are not currently studying please give details of any qualifications that you hold.
Note 2: Applicant’s Personal Statement

When answering the questions in the personal statement section of the form please consider the following. In making a judgement about your application, the selection panel will base their assessment on:

  • Your personal and family circumstances and the barriers that you have faced in continuing your education - with particular reference to your current status in the UK
  • Your ambitions for the future, why you have chosen your course of study and how the Article 26 Award will help you to achieve your ambitions
  • Your financial circumstances, including how you have managed financially whilst at college and how you will support yourself at university – Keele University  cannot support living costs, such as accommodation and food – where will you live and how will you support these costs whilst at university?  We also require you to provide supporting evidence of your financial circumstances. This could include any evidence about benefits received or any paid employment by you, your partner or your parents if appropriate.
  • What additional support will you need whilst at university?

Your application for the Article 26 Award is completely confidential and the selection panel will only be able to take into account information that is given in your answers to the 5 questions. Whilst the selection panel do need some details of personal circumstances we do not need to know about the circumstances that led to you seeking asylum in UK if you don’t wish to provide this information.

Your supporting Referee will be asked to give a supporting statement about you but if there is any information that you feel should be taken into account when your application is considered you must include it in your application form.

Note 3: Declaration of eligibility and checklist
  • Please confirm, by ticking the appropriate box, that you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Please confirm that should your application be successful, you will inform the University immediately if your circumstances change.
  • Please look through the items in the checklist carefully and tick to indicate that you have met all these requirements.
Note 4: Equal Opportunities Monitoring Information
  • Please complete the equal opportunities monitoring information section of the form – it is important to ensure that we are accessible to all students and we will use this information to monitor whether or not we are reaching a cross section of the student population.
Note 5: Referee’s Supporting Statement

The Referee’s Supporting Statement is an important part of the selection process. Please be sure to include all of the requested information and any other information that you believe should be taken into consideration by the selection panel. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide their referee with a copy of their personal statement. When completing the referee’s supporting statement please consider the following:

  • The referee providing the supporting statement must provide their contact details and confirm that the school, college or community or voluntary group that they represent wishes to support the student’s application.
  • The student’s application will not be accepted without a supporting statement. The referee’s Supporting Statement should be no more than 500 words and should cover the following:
  • How do you know the applicant and how long have you known them for?
  • What are the applicant’s personal and financial circumstances and what barriers have they overcome to continue their education?
  • How well suited is the applicant to the higher education course they plan to take and how realistic are the student’s ambitions?
  • What contribution, to your knowledge, has the student made to a) college life and / or b) their community?
  • Is there any other information that you believe is relevant to the student’s application?
  • How do you think the student would benefit from the support offered by the Keele University Article 26 Award?
Applications will only be accepted for consideration if they are accompanied by the referee’s supporting statement and signature.

Informing you of the outcome of your application

How will I know whether I have been Successful?

  • Please note that this is a competitive process and not all applications will be successful
  • Following initial assessment, the University will contact you to let you know whether or not your application will progress to the next stage of the selection process.
  • If your application is taken forward, you will be invited to an interview to verify the information you have provided in your application
  • Interviews will be held as soon as possible after the closing date
  • If you are successful in being offered an Article 26 Scholarship you will be informed within two weeks of your interview

For further information on any aspect of completing your application please email

For more information about support available for Asylum Seekers at Keele University please visit our support pages