UCL fund gives bright migrants a chance to study at university

The Evening Standard has reported that talented migrants who cannot access student loans are being given the chance to go to university.

A new scholarship programme from University College London will support six undergraduate students — two a year over three years — by paying their tuition fees and maintenance grants through their course. 

The £500,000 Access Opportunity scheme was created after a youth-led organisation, Let Us Learn, contacted leading universities to raise awareness of its “Young, Gifted and Blocked” campaign.  

Hundreds of young long-term migrants have been prevented from going to college because they are not officially recognised as home students. Instead they are charged substantially higher international fees. 

They include many seeking asylum in the UK who have only been granted limited leave to remain, rather than permanent status. 

Some universities, including SOAS, King’s College and Goldsmiths, have already expanded their scholarship eligibility criteria to explicitly include Let Us Learn migrants as a result of the campaign. 

Ash Talwar, student funding manager at UCL, said: “It is hoped this opportunity will change the lives of the scholars and their families by providing a way of maximising their potential and rebuilding their lives.”

Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, UCL’s staff and student support for refugees coordinator, added: “It is an invaluable step towards ensuring that our university is truly accessible to, and welcoming of, people affected by conflict and displacement.” 

Read more UCL fund gives bright migrants a chance to study at university

Do you think more universities will follow? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: Further Education and overseas students.


  1. Victoria Jaquiss

    I am afraid that, to me, this sounds like a grammar school system for migrants. The article says hundreds are denied opportunities, but the universities are only going to sponsor six students. Seems that not just if you are bright, but only if you are really bright and jump through the hoops, can you get this opportunity. And the others, presumably can get back on their boats!

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