Refugees Welcome 2021

Higher education institutions are well placed to be able to provide wide-ranging support to people who are fleeing violence and persecution. They can and are supporting people and communities in different circumstances: in their home countries, in refugee camps, and when they are settled in the UK.

This report, an update to our 2016 publication, is a collaborative effort between the Scottish Refugee Council and Scottish universities to provide guidance for the sector to ensure there is an understanding of entitlements, and that any displaced person living in Scotland that wants access to higher education is not discouraged by the administrative procedure required to gain entry into higher education.

Our universities have access to large student and staff bodies that are willing to dedicate time, skills and resources to helping people in conflict who are trying to make better lives for themselves.

This update comes as a humanitarian crisis unfolds in Afghanistan, following the Taliban’s takeover of the country in August 2021. Whilst the exact number of Aghan refugees seeking asylum in Scotland is not yet known, Scotland’s universities are ready to put this new guidance into practice and support people who are fleeing violence and persecution.

Key Points:

  • Back in 2016, Universities Scotland first convened a meeting of heads of admissions to discuss access issues for asylum seekers and refugees.
  • A number of good practice recommendations arose from those discussions and these have been updated following feedback sought from the sector and relevant bodies in 2021.
  • The guidance is intended to help all admissions staff at universities in Scotland develop their processes to admit and integrate refugees into their chosen university.

Further Reading


Would you like to be updated about the latest publications?