This blog is part of the series featuring ideas contained in the new HEPI-Brightside report, Reaching the parts of society universities have missed: A manifesto for the new Director for Fair Access and Participation. It showcases the idea from Dan McEvoy, Specialist Higher Education Support Worker at the Refugee Support Network.
The Government should ensure no asylum-seeking young person wishing to study at university is excluded by insurmountable financial barriers. These include tuition fees charged at a higher ‘overseas’ rate and an inability to access student finance. Legislation regarding fee status and eligibility for student finance should be amended to address this, ensuring that talented young asylum seekers are not prevented from continuing their education.
Universities should facilitate access to education through granting more fee waivers for asylum-seeking young people. A greater number of higher education institutions should follow the example of universities involved with the Article 26 scholarship scheme, which promotes fee waivers and bursaries to enable young asylum seekers to realise their potential through education, and they should adopt Article 26’sGuiding Principles on Sanctuary Scholars in UK Higher Education.
Schools, further education colleges and refugee support organisations should ensure that accurate advice on higher education rights and entitlements is available to young refugees and asylum seekers. It is essential that tailored advice from sources which understand the education system and the complexities of the asylum system is available and accessible.