Asylum seekers and forced migrants

Here at Keele we believe that everyone has the right to education. We welcome applications from asylum seekers and those from a forced migrant background and can provide information, advice and support to both applicants and current students.

You can apply for a course at Keele regardless of your immigration status. However, your immigration status will affect what tuition fees you are required to pay and whether you are eligible for UK Government Funding.

Waiting for a decision & Limited Leave to Remain

If you're an asylum seeker and the Home Office has not reached a decision on your application, or you have received some form of temporary status such as limited leave to remain, you should be classed as an overseas student for fees purposes. You will be liable to pay the tuition fee yourself and you’ll not be eligible to receive UK government funding. If you are granted indefinite leave to remain once you have started your course, your fee status may change to home fees. However, you will still not be able to access UK Government Funding as you will have needed to have been granted status prior to starting your course. 

For more information please contact our Admissions Team.

Please note, some students with temporary status may be eligible for funding under the long residency category. For useful information regarding eligibility under this category see the UKCISA webpages.

Refugee status

To be considered to pay the home rate of tuition fee, you must be resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of your course and have been awarded Refugee status by this date. For courses that start in September the first day is defined as 1 September, for Postgraduate courses that start in January it is 1 January. In some circumstances spouses and children of someone granted Refugee Status can also qualify for home fees too.

If the UKVI make a decision on your application and award you refugee status after 1 September you may become eligible to pay home fees from the start of the next academic year.

If you are awarded refugee status before 1 September at the start of your course you could be eligible for UK Government Funding to pay your tuition fees, support your living costs and support study needs arising from a disability.

If you are awarded status after 1 September, partway through the year, you could become entitled to some of this funding.

Humanitarian protection

With humaitarian protection you are not entitled to the same immediate entitlement to student support as those with full refugee status. You must also meet the three year residence requirement before the first day of the first academic year of the course - the first day is usually the 1st September.

You can find more about the qualifying rules for home fees and the student funding eligibility rules for undergraduate study by checking the information on the UKCISA site.

The funding rules are complex, so if you are unsure of your entitlement and would like to discuss this, please get in touch with

Funding for Asylum Seekers at Keele University

Here at Keele we offer scholarships to students who are seeking asylum or have some form of temporary status who do not have access to Student Finance.

For more information about the Article 26 Sanctuary Scholarships and how to apply please visit the Funding for Asylum Seekers webpage.

External sources of funding

There are a number of other universities and charities who also offer scholarships and funding for those seeking asylum or are from a forced migrant background. For more information please see the links below:

Personalised financial advice and support

If you are unsure about funding your studies or you experience any financial difficulties during your course  then you can contact our Money Advisers in the Student Services Centre for specific advice and guidance regarding your situation and your options. For more information you can email

If you came to the UK as an unaccompanied minor and are currently under the care of your local authority or have recently left care, we offer a wide range of support for applicants and students who have been in care.

For more information and to get in touch please visit the support for care leavers webpage.

We understand that applying for settled status and waiting for a decision on your immigration status can be a stressful time. Therefore, we offer a range of support that can help with any personal or academic issues that may arise throughout your time at Keele.

Student welfare

The Student Experience and Support Officer team can offer advice and guidance on a range of different issues that you may face at University.

Counselling and mental health support

University can be an exciting time but it can also bring with it stress and challenge. The Counselling and Mental Health service offers a team of experienced counsellors who can support you during your time at University if you need it.

Support on your course

All students at Keele are allocated an academic mentor who is a single point of contact on your course. Your academic mentor can provide advice, support and general guidance on academic and non-academic issues. 

If you are experiencing any personal difficulties that may affect your studies you can submit exceptional circumstances to your school for these to be taken into consideration. 

Careers and employability

The Careers and Employability service provide careers guidance, advice and information to help you achieve your career plans.  You can contact careers to make an appointment to receive personalised careers advice and guidance to help you throughout your studies and beyond.  

Disability Support & Inclusion

If you have a disability, including specific learning difficulties or mental health and wellbeing issues the team can advise on a wide range of support to meet your individual needs. It is a good idea to contact the team before you arrive at Keele University to discuss any support you may need.

There are a number of external agencies and charities that provide support and advice for Asylum Seekers wishing to enter Higher Education.

  • The Helena Kennedy Foundation: can provide financial bursaries, mentoring and support for asylum seekers, enabling them to progress to and attend Higher Education.
  • Refugee Council: Works with asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.
  • UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA): the national advisory body for international students in the UK. They provide advice and information to current and potential students.
  • Refugee Support Network- work with young people affected by displacement and crisis, enabling them to access, remain and progress in education at multiple stages in the education journey.
  • Student Action on Refugees - is the national network of student groups working to improve the lives of refugees in the UK.

Contact us

Tel: 01782 734481

A student's perspective