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Universities: Refugees

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL6855, tabled on 25 April 2017

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many university places were awarded to people with refugee status in the UK in each year between 2010 and 2016.

Answered on

27 April 2017

Information on the number of people with refugee status who were awarded a university place via the UCAS system or who are enrolled at UK universities is not held by the department.

Student support is available to those recognised as refugees (and their spouses, civil partners and children named on the initial application for asylum), provided they have been ordinarily resident in the British Islands since being recognised by the Government as a refugee and are ordinarily resident in England on the first day of the first academic year of the course. They are exempt from the three year residence requirement.

Asylum seekers who are recognised as refugees after the start of their course may qualify for support for the remainder of their studies as follows:

  • living cost support in any subsequent years of the course (and in the quarters following the award in the year of the award); and
  • fee assistance in any subsequent years of the course (and in the year of the award if the award is made within three months of the first day of the academic year of the course).

Management information from the SLC showing the number of refugee applicants awarded loans in England in each of the last six years can be found in the table below:

English Domiciled applicants with a refugee status awarded student loans

Academic years 2010/11 to 2015/16 (data effective as at the end of each academic year)

Academic Year

Number of refugees awarded loans

2010/11

2,500

2011/12

3,000

2012/13

3,700

2013/14

3,800

2014/15

3,900

2015/16

3,700

Source: SLC, Management Information

Note: Awards do not necessarily translate into payments. An awarded applicant will only receive payments once SLC has received confirmation from the student’s provider at the start of the academic year that the student has been registered on the course.