People arriving into the UK seeking refuge from threats to their lives face many challenges, but they also have the opportunity to build a new life and a hopeful future for themselves and their families.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency statistics, at the end of 2020 there were 132,349 refugees, 77,245 pending asylum cases and 4,662 stateless persons in the UK.
When a person has both the ambition and the chance to succeed, impossible dreams can become a reality. The Open University believes education should be open to everyone.
Many people seeking sanctuary are successful and highly qualified professionals in their country of origin but need recognised qualifications to continue their careers in the UK. For others, the security of arriving in the UK after fleeing armed conflict or persecution in their home nation, often means they have their very first opportunity to engage with higher education and/or have access to meaningful employment.
The opportunity to access higher education enables individuals to pursue their passions and provides a sense of purpose, identity, and achievement. It enables people seeking sanctuary to invest in their futures and make substantial contributions to the society in which they make their new homes.
Sanctuary Scholarships are the latest initiative developed from our passionate advocacy for lifelong learning and our belief that accessible education is a powerful tool for social mobility, improving people’s lives, and building better communities.
How your support can make a difference
The Open University’s Sanctuary Scholarships – part of the successful Open Futures Fund - offer financial support for refugees, forced migrants and people seeking asylum to study with the OU and began in Autumn 2022. We will provide 12 full fee waiver scholarships per year for three years - 12 have already been awarded and 12 more will be awarded in Autumn 2023. Alongside this commitment, we are also offered 50 fully funded OU Access Modules with the aim of preparing successful applicants with the skills and confidence to progress into Higher Education.
By making a donation to Sanctuary Scholarships you will enable people who have already come through great adversity to rewrite their future, for themselves and their loved ones. It is one incredible way in which you can help make a positive difference, by giving the gift of education, and by being part of the collective power of the OU donor community.
The Open University has numerous support programs addressing a wide variety of limitations or disadvantages that prospective students might face. For example, we offer financial support for carers, care-experienced learners, Black students and disabled veterans and refugees. We also offer the study-related costs fund, which is open to anyone on a low income. Information on all our bursaries, scholarships and assistance schemes can be found here: http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/fees-and-funding