University of Sanctuary

Lancaster University is highly committed to being a richly diverse and fully inclusive learning environment. A place where our students and staff are supported to succeed and reach their potential. This includes supporting Asylum seekers, refugees and those with humanitarian protection.

As part of this commitment, Lancaster is seeking to become a member of the National network. This is a national network of university staff, lecturers, academics and students working to make higher education places of safety, solidarity and empowerment for people seeking sanctuary.

The University is working closely with Lancaster and Morecambe City of Sanctuary to support its aims of providing a welcoming place of safety for people fleeing violence and persecution by building a culture of hospitality and inclusiveness within the city.

Lancaster Environment Centre, with trees and foliage present along with a pond and benches.

Financial Support

The Lancaster Sanctuary Scholarship is available to students who are seeking asylum in the UK and are not entitled to receive statutory student financial support from Student Finance England (Wales or Northern Ireland) or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland. The Scholarship includes free accommodation on campus, a 100% tuition fee waiver and support with living costs.

Lancaster Sanctuary Scholarship

Support to Succeed

All sanctuary students and applicants have access to a single point of contact for support both through the admissions process and during their time at Lancaster. In addition, students with sanctuary status are eligible for a place on the Lancaster Success Programme. Students stay with the programme for the duration of the degree and can access a range of bespoke support including one to one coaching, an enrichment fund, social and networking events and action learning sets.

Two students are talking and smiling using laptops.
Student sitting on a wooden bench in the Library reading.

Community Support

We are actively working with our local community to provide a range of support for those seeking asylum. This includes English language provision and support and access to the University Library via the Community Card Scheme. offers free legal advice to members of the public on a variety of legal issues, including family law, education law, consumer disputes, wills and probate, small claims, and employment law. Members of our local refugee and asylum seeker community can access this free advice as well as a separate Immigration Clinic that we run in conjunction with Refugee Advocacy, Information and Support (RAIS) Lancaster.

Teaching and Research

The University has a range of research centres and projects that exist to better understand migration and immigration. The research undertaken by these groups includes areas such as borders, citizenship, human rights, social justice, peacebuilding and societal threats. In addition, students at Lancaster are taught about the issues that refugees and asylum seekers face as part of multiple modules.

Students sitting in a lecture theatre. The student in the foreground is typing on a laptop.
Everyone is Welcome
Photo by Katie Moum Unsplash.

Sanctuary Fellowship

The Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship provides a safe place at Lancaster for scholars who face persecution and barriers to research freely in their own countries because of conflict, violence or political oppression. Lancaster University provides a full fee waiver and offer in-kind and direct financial assistance to the Fellow and any accompanying family dependents.

The Fellowship has been created in response to the rapid increase in numbers of academics needing support. There is a corresponding urgency to raise awareness of their plight and to gather funding to help them secure a safe haven in which to live and work. We want to be able to offer facilities for this purpose at Lancaster and working alongside the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara), the Sanctuary Fellowship will enable academics and their families at risk to spend time in safety in the UK to further their work.

The University has an aim to have an at-risk scholar in each of our four faculties and we have recently welcomed our first family under the Sanctuary Fellowship to Lancaster. Funds are raised through university pledges, one off donations and payroll giving.

Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship

Contact

For more information about Lancasters University of Sanctuary application and support for sanctuary seekers please contact universityofsanctuary@lancaster.ac.uk.