Did you seek asylum in the UK?
Hoping to go to University in 2013?
Not eligible for Student Finance?
Article 26 takes its name from the Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to education and specifies that higher education should be accessible on the basis of merit.
Article 26 is a project that makes access to higher education a reality for talented students who have sought asylum (or as we prefer to say, ‘sanctuary’) in the UK, who have also been offered a place at university but cannot access the necessary financial and practical support to attend.
People seeking sanctuary face two major barriers preventing them from accessing University:
i) Tuition fees – people seeking sanctuary are treated as international students and are therefore charged fees at the international rate.
ii) Student finance – people seeking sanctuary are not entitled to the government loan available for home students to pay their university fees, or to a maintenance grant/loan, which helps to pay for living costs.
Since 2005, Article 26 has been working to remove these barriers by developing and working in partnership with Universities; creating opportunities for students seeking sanctuary to access higher education through the provision of tuition fee bursaries.
When Article 26 started we only had one student at University . . . we now have four graduates and 26 people currently studying at Universities across England. Our students are the best advocates for the project and their success has encouraged existing Universities to increase the number of places on offer and new Universities to join the project . . . as a result the number of places provided by Universities grows every year.
Eligibility Criteria . . . you must be:
- An asylum seeker or the partner/dependant of an asylum seeker; OR
- An asylum seeker/partner/dependant who has been granted Discretionary Leave to Remain (DLR) or some other form of temporary status and;
- Have a conditional or unconditional offer from one of our partner Universities for 2013.
- Currently attending a school, college, community or voluntary group which can provide a reference in support of your application
- Unable to access mainstream funding, e.g. student finance or a local authority grant
- Live within commuting distance of the partner University.
- Not require support for living expenses or accommodation.
Article 26 Partner Universities
Article 26 has places available for 2013 at the following Universities:
Canterbury Christ Church
Leeds Trinity University College
University of Manchester
Newman University College (Birmingham)
Royal Holloway (London)
St Marys University College (Twickenham)
- Please be advised, the majority of Universities offer 1 place per year.
- Unfortunately, we cannot support people wanting to study Medicine, Dentistry, Foundation degree programmes or courses dependent on NHS funding.
- We can only support 3 year undergraduate degree programmes.
- Check www.facebook.com/Article26 for the most up to date information on 2013 places.
Application Process . . . Step by Step
- UCAS application - apply to Universities by submitting a UCAS application. For further details regarding this process go to www.ucas.ac.uk
- University Offer from a partner University - only when you have recieved your offer should you email us the following information name, contact details, degree programme and University name.
- Initial assessment – this usually takes place over the phone. We check whether you meet our eligibility criteria.
- Invitation to submit an application form. Following the initial assessment we decide whether or not to invite you to apply to Article 26. This will be emailed to you along with our guidelines on how to complete it. We don’t accept any applications forms, if we don’t have a record of inviting you to apply.
- Short-listing - if you are short-listed you will be invited to attend an interview at the University at which you wish to study.
- Interview with Article 26 will determine whether or not we are able to support you as an Article 26 student.
Article 26 Support
- Tuition fee bursary to cover three years of an undergraduate degree programme.
- Small grant (subject to available funds and based upon a needs assessment) to help with local travel, books & equipment.
- Personal support - Article 26 provides advice & information to students to support them during their studies.
- Group Support - you will be expected to attend an annual residential. This aims to address some of the challenges that Article 26 students face whilst at University through training, information and advice.
Please note: Costs associated with accommodation and living expenses cannot be met by Article 26. In order to be eligible for support from Article 26, we have to be satisfied that students can sustain themselves financially during their degree programme.
Applications must be received no later than Friday 26th April 2013. No applications will be accepted after this time.
We hope the answers to these frequently asked questions will provide you with the information you need. Please read them carefully before you contact us.
I have a place at a University that is not on your list- can you help?
Article 26 works very hard to secure tuition fee bursaries for people seeking sanctuary with individual Universities. We do not have any funding for University tuition fees. Tuition fee bursaries are only available for the Universities advertised.
I want to do a postgraduate course - can you help?
We cannot provide support to people wishing to study at postgraduate level. It is very challenging to fund undergraduate courses and we focus on people who have not had the opportunity to study in higher education. As a result, we cannot accept people who already have an undergraduate qualification or those who want to pursue a post graduate course.
Why can't you help me access Nursing (or any other NHS course)?
University courses such as nursing, midwifery and medicine are funded by the NHS rather than Universities. This means that Universities cannot provide tuition fee bursaries for NHS courses.
Why don’t you support other migrant groups?
We have focused on raising awareness and promoting understanding of the particular issues and challenges faced by people seeking sanctuary. We have never negotiated for other migrant groups. We do receive lots of queries from other migrant groups and are currently exploring the options.
What other organisations offer advice about access to higher education?
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides useful information on a range of issues relevant to international students. They have very useful information guides if you want to determine your status in terms of tuition fees or entitlement to student finance. You can visit their website at www.ukcisa.org.uk.
How many applications do you receive for each place?
We only invite people to apply to Article 26 following an initial assessment. The eligibility criteria are strictly adhered to because the application process is highly competitive. We don’t want to invite you to apply if you are unlikely to be successful.
We do not acknowledge or respond to applications from people we haven’t invited to apply. Please do not send us an application if you have not been invited to do so - it is a waste of you time!
Is there an age limit?
I have been sent a fee-assessment form - what should I do?
An application to Article 26 should not interfere with any University processes. You should respond to any questions asked by the University.
I don’t live near any of the universities on the list. What can I do?
We cannot support people who live far away from our partner Universities. Article 26 does not provide funding for long distance travel, accommodation or living expenses. We want to make sure that students live within commuting distance of their University to ensure that they have the best possible chance of completing their degree.
What is Article 26 doing to secure places at Universities not on the list?
We are in the process of negotiating with several Universities to either introduce a bursary for a student seeking sanctuary or increase the number of places they already provide. STAR (Student Action for Refugees) & NUS (National Union of Students) have also launched the ‘Equal Access Campaign’, which seeks to lobby Universities to improve access for people seeking sanctuary in the UK. For more information see: - http://www.star-network.org.uk/index.php/campaigns/campaigns_overview.
What happens if A26 says ‘no’ at any stage in the process?
Even if your application to Article 26 is unsuccessful, you will still have your place at University. However if we cannot provide you with support we will not enter into negotiations with the university on your behalf to secure a tuition fee waiver or any other means of support.