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Universities: Admissions

Question for Department for Education

UIN 143659, tabled on 14 May 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many university places were awarded to people with refugee status in the UK in each year between 2008 and 2018.

Answered on

22 May 2018

Information on the number of people with refugee status who were awarded a university place or 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 UK and 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 the following support for the remainder of their studies:

  • 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 loans 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 provided by the Student Loans Company showing the number of English domiciled applicants with refugee status who were awarded a student loan up to the academic year 2016 to 2017 can be found in the table below. Comparable data for the academic year 2017 to 2018 will be available from September 2018.

English Domiciled applicants with refugee status awarded student loans

Academic years 2008 to 2009 to 2016 to 2017 (data effective as at the end of each academic year)

Academic Year

Number of refugees awarded loans



















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 that the student has been registered on the course.