This information will help you understand your university options if you have one of the following statuses:
Limited leave to remain (LLR)
Discretionary leave to remain (DLR)
I have LLR, DLR or UASC leave: what are my options for higher education (HE)?
With one of these statuses, can I go to university?
The main costs of university include tuition fees and living costs (such as accommodation, transport, food, etc). If you have been granted any of the above types of status and have been ‘ordinarily’ resident in the UK for 3 years you will likely pay tuition fees at 'home' rate, with a cost of up to £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 vary, depending on where you study, whether you need to pay for accommodation, and other factors.
However, if you have been granted any of the above types of status but have not been “ordinarily resident” in the UK for 3 years, you will pay tuition fees at an ‘international/overseas’ rate. This costs may vary depending on university and course chosen, and some fees are significantly higher.
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 resource.
How much does it cost to go to university?
Yes. The important thing to remember is that, with any of the types of status listed above, you are allowed to go to university. You will likely be charged tuition fees at an ‘international/overseas’ rate and will not be eligible for student finance (the loans from the government that other students can apply for). However, if you have resided in the UK for a long period of time, you may qualify for ‘home’ fee status (and funding) due to long residency.
To be eligible for student finance funding under the long residence category you must be a resident in England on the first day of the first academic year of your course, hold one of the above types of status and have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands throughout the three-year period immediately before the first day of the first academic year of your course. You must also be either:
under 18 years old having lived in the UK for at least 7 years before the first day of the first academic year of your course; or aged 18 years and above having either spent at least half your life in the UK or at least 20 years in the UK prior to the first day of the first academic year of your course.
See below for more information about how to pay for university.
For more detailed information about access to higher education for young refugees and migrants, see the Migrant Children’s Project’s page about this topic.
How can I pay for university?
1. University scholarships
Many universities offer scholarships for those who can’t access student finance on account of their immigration status. All of these have different names but these are sometimes called Sanctuary Scholarships, Equal Access, or Article 26 awards. These usually pay your tuition fees and often also provide extra funding for your living costs. For up to date lists of which universities offer scholarships, please visit Student Action for Refugees (STAR)’s website and on the Article 26 website. Although many of these are for undergraduate degrees, some are for postgraduate studies.
2. Private scholarships
There are a small number of private scholarships available for those who cannot get other funding for their studies. These include the Grenfell scholarship, and the Westheimer, Brittan, Marks Family Charitable Foundation scholarships. Please click here for more details.
If you have one of the types of status listed above then it is likely you won’t be able to access student finance, unless you meet the long residence category for ‘home’ fee status (see above). You will need to arrange another way to pay for university.
Other FAQs for students with LLR/DLR/UASC status
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