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With Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) through the ARAP/ACRS schemes, can I go to university?

Yes. If you been given have ILR through the ARAP/ACRS schemes you can access university. You should be classed by universities as a ‘home’ student and you will pay 'home' tuition fees. You should also usually be able to get student finance (the loans from the UK government that help you pay for your university tuition fees and living costs).

Please visit UKCISA and student finance for more information about this.

How do I choose which university to apply to?

The main costs of university are the tuition fees and your living costs (such as accommodation, transport, food, etc). If you have these statuses you will probably pay tuition fees at a 'home' rate (the same as other UK students). Currently, home fees are around £9,250 per academic year. This cost may vary depending on the university and course chosen as some fees are slightly lower. Living costs may also vary depending on where you study, whether you need to pay for accommodation and other factors.


On average, you may need to budget for £1,000 per month (minimum) to cover your living costs. For more help with working out your budget, please visit this student budget calculator. It will help you work out how much it may cost you to live at different universities.

I have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) through ARAP/ACRS schemes: what are my options for higher education (HE)?

Here's more information

Click here to return to our main Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information about higher education

Contact us for advice and guidance

Click here to find out how REUK's Educational Progression team can help you reach university through advice, guidance, workshops and funding opportunities

Training for practitioners

Join our training to understand the barriers to university for refugee and asylum-seeking students and to get the skills and confidence you need to move forward.

How can I pay for university?

1. Student finance

If you have ILR status through one of these schemes, you should be able to access student finance.


There are two main loans you can apply for:


Tuition fee loan - This is a non-means tested loan and is paid directly to the university to cover your fee cost. Maintenance loan - This is a means tested loan and is to help cover your living costs, e.g. rent, food, transport etc. The amount you receive varies depending on where you live and whether you live with family. Remember this is a loan and has to be repaid once you start earning a salary of £25,000 per year.


Please visit this student finance resource for more information. There is also government funding available for postgraduate students. Please see here for more details.


If you have concerns about taking out a loan for religious reasons, please see here for advice and guidance.

2. Self funding


Some individuals with ILR who have permission to work in the UK choose to pay for their university studies themselves (self funding). You may need to use personal savings to pay for your tuition fees and may wish to work part time whilst studying. Many degrees can be undertaken part time or on a flexible basis, such as via distance learning. Please visit this UCAS guide for more information.

3. Scholarships


Some universities offer scholarships to those from forced migration backgrounds. Please visit Student Action for Refugees (STAR)’s website for a more comprehensive list.


You may also wish to visit the funding pages of different universities to find out more about what they can offer.

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