Refugees Welcome

Higher education institutions are well placed to be able to provide wide-ranging support to people who are fleeing violence and persecution.

Universities in Scotland are working to support Asylum Seekers, Refugees, people granted Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave to Remain, with access to higher education.

This report is a collaborative effort between the Scottish Refugee Council and heads of admissions from a range of 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.

This guidance is intended to help all admissions staff at universities in Scotland develop their processes to admit and integrate refugees into their chosen university.

Not only do our institutions employ academic staff who contribute research and knowledge on issues around international law, immigration, displacement, conflict, health, integration, language, community, construction, design; they also have experience delivering services such as housing, careers advice, counselling, health services, welfare services, English language training, and immigration advice.

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

Key Points:

  • Currently, there are approximately 50 students in Scotland with refugee status and between 200 and 300 students with settled status, i.e. Humanitarian Protection, Indefinite Leave to Remain or Discretionary Leave to Remain.
  • Refugee status is awarded for 5 years
  • People with Refugee Status are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain at the end of their initial 5-year grant of leave.

Further Reading


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