SOAS University of London


SOAS Sanctuary Scholarships 2020/21

DEADLINE: UG: 03 March 2020, PGT: 30 June 2020

The SOAS Sanctuary scheme to support displaced people was launched in 2015. It is designed to support those who might otherwise be blocked from embarking on a university degree especially those with a precarious forms of immigration status or who do not have access to Student Finance, and people taking their first steps into Higher Education.

Candidate Criteria

Applicants must be a displaced person which includes the following types of status:

  • Refugee status
  • Humanitarian protection status
  • Discretionary Leave to Remain
  • Limited leave to remain on human rights grounds including UASC
  • Refused Asylum Seeker (fresh claim submitted)
  • Submitted an asylum claim in the UK.
  • Asylum Seeker

We also welcome applications from young people who attended school in the UK to 18 but now are having to resolve their immigration status and meanwhile cannot embark on a degree course due to lack of access to Student Finance.

Applicants for Postgraduate Taught Masters degrees (on campus) must have provided evidence of their status in their application for admission.

Applicants for undergraduate degrees must have provided evidence of their status to by the end of the scholarship application deadline.  

Applicants must be resident in the UK

For your application for a Sanctuary Scholarship to be considered by the Selection Panel, you will need to have received an offer of a place to study an eligible degree at SOAS, so please do not delay making your application for a place at SOAS. 

You will still have to meet the conditions of your offer of a place (academic qualifications and English language requirements for example), to embark on the degree and receive the scholarship.

Only new students may apply: those already enrolled on a degree at SOAS are not eligible to apply.

Eligible Degrees and Value

The scholarships include a full tuition fee waiver for:

  • Any full time undergraduate degree of 3 years duration
  • Any full time one year or part time two year postgraduate taught Master’s degree on campus (not distance learning)
  • In addition, a package of support will be provided to contribute towards the living costs (which includes accommodation, travel and study materials) for the student to take up their place.

Candidate Assessment

  • Applications are shortlisted by a Selection Committee of at least 3 members, and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.
  • Among eligible candidates (see above) we will prioritise:
    • Undergraduate students embarking on their first steps into higher education.
    • People who do not have access to Student Finance, so if you have received a refusal letter, please make sure you submit this to us.
  • The Selection Committee will consider the information you have provided in your admissions application:
    • Your rationale for choosing the degree you wish to study at SOAS.
    • Your learning trajectory including academic achievements and obstacles you have overcome.
    • How well the degree will serve your future plans and intentions.
    • Your supporting references.
  • In addition, we will consider the information you provide in your scholarship application about your immigration situation and why you are applying for this scholarship. It is important that you provide clear information about this and any supporting documents, so that we can understand your situation.

Scholarship Application Deadline

  • Scholarship applications must be received by no later than:
    • Undergraduate: 17:00 (GMT) on 03 March 2020 (extended from 27 February 2020). Incomplete applications will not be considered.
    • Postgraduate: 17:00 (GMT) on 30 June 2020. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Please note that you must have an offer of admission to your chosen degree at SOAS in order for your application for a scholarship to be considered by the selection committee. Applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. You should be prepared to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods.

Scholarship Application Procedure


Select and apply for your chosen degree programme via UCAS (Undergraduates) or Postgraduate Admissions (Masters). Having a place at SOAS is necessary to be considered by the Sanctuary Scholarship selection panel, although you may submit a scholarship application before you receive your offer of a place from admissions.  


Apply for the Sanctuary Scholarship via the online form.You should save a copy of your application form for your records. If you wish to print a copy of the application then please do so before clicking SUBMIT.

Notification of Results

Undergraduate applicants with an offer to study at SOAS, who submitted a complete scholarship application by 15 January 2020 (UCAS deadline) will be notified in time for the UCAS deadline of 06 May 2020.  

Other successful candidates will be notified as soon as possible. If you have not heard from us by the end of June, you should assume your application was unsuccessful.

For enquiries, please contact:

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7074 5094

We recommend you bookmark this page as we may make further updates and clarifications.
Last update: 28/02/2020.

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SOAS Sanctuary Scholarships

To find out how you can help and support this scholarship and ensure a generation of students do not miss out on education, please visit the Sanctuary Scholarship Campaign info page