Darya was devastated when she discovered that she couldn't get a student loan. Even before she arrived in the UK, aged 16, from Afghanistan, she'd longed to get the qualifications and skills needed to make healthcare accessible to every community. But there was no way she and her family, who were going through the asylum process at the time, could fund a degree. Thanks to the Westheimer Scholarship, she was able to take up her offer to study Pharmacy at university.


“The Westheimer Scholarship is a golden opportunity for me. I feel blessed to be awarded this amazing scholarship. Before finding out about Westheimer award, I struggled a lot to carry on my education... I cannot describe my feelings in words on how pleased I am with this scholarship. It has given me what I had dreamt about. I am only 3 years away on fulfilling my dream. Nothing was possible if I wasn't a Westheimer scholar and this is all because of the kind trustees. To me and my family this scholarship is a miracle.”

Without access to student loans, many young asylum seekers rely on scholarships to make their university dream a reality

Scholarships for asylum seekers

This scholarship, for those up to the age of 28, is for both tuition fees and living costs (depending on individual circumstances). Applications open in the spring for admission in the autumn. You must have a firm offer to apply.

The Westheimer Scholarship is for young asylum seekers' higher education in health and social care, medicine, nursing or related professions

The Trust was established by former refugees who benefited from welcome and support in the UK when fleeing Nazi Germany. Today it is committed to providing educational support to young refugees and asylum seekers through scholarships and grants.

REUK partners with the Schwab & Westheimer Trust to promote and deliver their scholarships for asylum seekers

The Schwab & Westheimer Trust has worked with other generous donors to create new and different scholarship opportunities

In the past, these have incldued the Brittan Scholarship and the scholarship funded by the Marks Family Charitable Trust. Criteria for these scholarships vary and we'll post all the details here when the scholarships open.

If these scholarships aren't right for you, get in touch to find out about other options.

Other smaller grants are available if you need financial support to pursue your studies

Demand oustrips supply. Could you fund a scholarship for an asylum seeker?

Other scholarships are available through particular universities – click here to find out more. And contact our advice service if you'd like to discuss your particular situation and options.

The Schwab & Westheimer Trust makes smaller grants towards educational expenses. And there are other places you can apply to for support. Find out more here.

The Schwab & Westheimer Trust welcomes partnerships with donors who want to establish new funding opportunities for asylum-seeking students. Contact us to find out more.

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document before beginning the online application form.

Please also read our online application form Guidance Notes before beginning an application.

Please note that there is no advantage for students who submit their applications first, so please take your time and fill in applications carefully. Applications must be made using the online form - however, should you wish to prepare your answers, you can do so using this Word version of the form.

Applications will open on 17th May 2021, and close at midnight on 17th June 2021. Interviews for successful candidates will be held in July 2021.

This scholarship helps young asylum seekers (aged up to 28 years old) pursue higher education in health and social care, social work, medicine, dentistry, nursing or other healthcare related professions. Up to three people a year will be supported with a Westheimer Scholarship to study for a first degree or professional qualification. The scholarship will pay home tuition fees* (see note below), and associated study costs. The specific amount awarded will be dependent on the candidate’s individual circumstances and university location.

The Westheimer Scholarship is an initiative of the Schwab Westheimer Trust which was established by former refugees who benefited from welcome and support in the UK when fleeing Nazi Germany.

*The trust will help candidates who are successful at interview to request home fees from their chosen university. The final award of a Westheimer Scholarship will be dependent on successfully getting a 'home' tuition fee offer.