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Information for forced migrant students

At King’s College London we recognise that any legal background of involuntary immigration can have a significant impact on educational opportunities and outcomes, and therefore provide pre-entry and on-course support to forced migrant students.

We use the term `forced migrant` as an umbrella term for the following immigration backgrounds.

-          Asylum seeker is someone who has lodged an application for protection on the basis of the Refugee Convention or Article 3 of the ECHR

-          Refugee is a former asylum seeker person who has been granted refuge in a country other than their home country. They have been able to prove that if they are returned home, they will be prosecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion.

-          Humanitarian Protection is given to people, if sent back, would face punishment due to a previously not mentioned case.

-          Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child status is given in unique cases for children arriving to the country separated from their parents, for a limited period of time, usually until they turn 17.5. 

-          Limited Leave to Remain (previously Discretionary Leave to Remain) is given for applicants with unique cases to remain in the UK for a limited period of time

-          Long Residence Status can be granted in case of demonstrating continuous residency in the UK for several years (sufficient length depends on age)

View our guide for Forced Migrant Students

Support before applying to King`s

King's College London has a designated member of staffjack.mollart-solity@kcl.ac.uk who can assist forced migrant students with all aspects of the application process: you can talk about course choices, receive feedback on a draft personal statement, tips on interviews as well as guidance on King's other support services e.g. student funding or the disability services.

For more information please contact:


020 7848 2581 

Support whilst at King`s

Buddy programme

We organise a buddy scheme which matches incoming students with experienced undergraduates. The buddies are matched on course similarity and the scheme aims to support new students during their first term, signpost support and provide a friendly face in a new environment. More information about the scheme is available on the KCLSU site. 

Welcoming event

We are hosting a social welcoming event beginning of September where you will have the opportunity to meet different Support Services and people in similar situations to you. It will be very informal and will include dinner and the opportunity to meet your buddy for the first time

Academic support

All students are allocated a Personal Tutor from within their Department or School.  Forced migrants also have access to a Senior Tutor who will act as a consistent tutor throughout their time at King's and give further support with academic work if required. 

Our Career Advisory team can help you with getting a part time job, internship and graduate opportunities, as well as gaining employability skills. 

Personal support

We have a designated advisor for forced migrant students currently at King's. Students can meet her as soon as they have a firm offer from King's, helping with any queries about the transition into higher education and any money or moving worries. 

As well as meeting before you start, the advisor supports students throughout their journey in Higher Education, helping with bursary and accommodation applications and working alongside support services e.g. student funding, study skills or counselling. 

Please contact anne-marie.henderson@kcl.ac.uk  to learn more. 

Additionally, the Wellbeing Team is here to work with students who want to focus on improving any aspect of their life through a coaching approach. They run both group and one-to-one sessions for students at all campuses. 

Financial and accommodation support

Sanctuary Scholarship: King’s College London has created a support package to ensure students who are not eligible for student finance can access higher education. We are offering Sanctuary Scholarships for students seeking sanctuary in the UK. These comprise of full tuition fee support and help with living costs, for each academic year of an undergraduate programme. These awards are for new applicants only.

Eligible students must be offer-holders of a place on a King’s undergraduate programme with the following immigration statuses: asylum-seekers or former asylum seekers who have been granted limited leave or humanitarian protection. Children of asylum seekers or unaccompanied asylum-seeking children who are seeking asylum in the UK and who are holding an offer for an undergraduate place at King’s College London will be also eligible.

You must also, by virtue of your immigration status, be unable to access the Tuition Fee Loan or Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England. In order to qualify, you must be able to prove your status under one of the above categories.

Tuition fees will be paid in full for all three years of the undergraduate programme (up to 4 years if undertaking a foundation programme, integrated Masters or Study Abroad). A living costs scholarship worth £11,000 per academic year paid in 3 termly instalments.

Once you are holding an offer for King’s you should complete the Sanctuary Scholarship application form for financial support.  You will need to provide evidence of your immigration status and a supportive statement from a referee (professional person who can provide details of your academic, personal and immigration status), please see application form and policy document for more information. If you have queries about the application process, please email funding@kcl.ac.uk 

The King’s Living Bursary scheme is open to every full-time home first degree student who has been means-tested with a final income assessment of £42,641. The bursary is worth up to £1,600 a year. 

King's Hardship Fund: this support is a limited discretionary fund to assist students on low incomes who may need extra financial support for their course and to stay in higher education. To check if you are eligible to apply, please visit our Hardship Fund page

For all inquiries about financial support, contact either Jack Mollart-Solity or the Student Funding Department for more information. Emailjack.mollart-solity@kcl.ac.uk Telephone: 020 7848 2581 

Story of a KCL forced migrant student

 "My name is Muhammad Arkam Babar and I had been out of education for two years because I was not eligible for student finance due to my immigration status, even though I had lived in the UK as a legal resident for more than nine years. I searched for different options relentlessly as education means a great deal to me. I found nothing for two years and then came this Sanctuary Scholarship by King’s College London. I got in touch with Anne-Marie Henderson regarding this and she guided me through the whole process. I attended an event which she had organised regarding the scholarships which gave me all the information I needed to kick-start the application process.

The support I received from Anne-Marie was amazing; I could see that she genuinely cared about my story, my journey. The whole concept of these scholarships was so surreal to see as people in my situation often get overlooked by universities but King’s College London proved once again why it is one of the best universities in the world by opening up this scholarship for people in my situation. This is a change towards equality for all, a concept that will give King’s an edge over other universities for equal opportunities and fairness. I will be grateful to them for what they have done for me for the rest of my life.

I just would like to finish up by saying that if it wasn’t for this scholarship I may not have been able to go to university for another three years. King’s College London has offered a lifeline for me and my family, who have suffered with me during this stressful time. To anyone reading this, my advice to you will be, dream! Dream big because everything happens for a reason and if you hold onto that dream during tough times then there is no one who can stop you from achieving it. Furthermore, our stories are our most powerful weapons and they are what make us unique, so don’t be afraid to share your story."

Further information and useful links

If you are working with a forced migrant child who is considering applying to university or you have a forced migrant background yourself, and you would like more information about the support available please contact our Designated Member of Staff, Jack Mollart-Solity at jack.mollart-solity@kcl.ac.uk or 020 7848 2581 

Additionally, below you'll find a list of useful links where you can find more information about support and advice for forced migrants:

Article 26 (project of Helena Kennedy Foundation) –They promote access to Higher Education for people who have fled persecution and sought asylum in the UK. They also provide a full tuition fee bursary and funding to meet some of the additional costs associated with studying.

Let us learn – The organisation provides advocacy, support and assistance to young people in difficulty; particularly those in trouble with the law and at risk of exclusion from school.

Refugee Support Network – The organisation provides information about how to apply for university, eligibility for support, alternative funding sources.

Schwab & Westheimer Trust -  The trust provide grants and scholarships for young asylum seekers and refugees in education. Their scholarship programme is now open: closing date is the 31st May. 

Student Action for Refugees – STAR is a national charity of 26,000 students welcoming refugees to the UK. They volunteer at local refugee projects, campaign to improve the lives of refugees and educate people about refugees and asylum.

Refugee Youth - Youth led organisation where young people work together to solve their problems through art workshops and events, eg. poetry, painting, drama and film making.

Forced migrant students

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