The University of Kent is working to be a safe and welcoming place for refugees, asylum seekers, and others who are displaced or forced to migrate. 

Welcoming community

Home to students and staff from more than 140 countries across the world, we are an inclusive, welcoming and diverse community dedicated to learning and the student experience, research and innovation, and engaging with our communities whether local, regional, national or international.

We promote access to Higher Education for people who have fled persecution and sought asylum in the UK, providing support and scholarships through the Article 26 Award.

The University of Kent, in partnership with the Article 26 Project offers each year up to 5 Article 26 awards for undergraduate entry. These awards are aimed at helping those seeking asylum in the UK to progress to higher education. The benefits of the Sanctuary Scholarship award are:

- Each recipient’s tuition fees will be waived for the duration of their programme of study or until they are able to access Student Finance England funding at the University of Kent (undergraduate programmes only)

- The recipients will be eligible to receive financial support from the University of Kent to cover the cost of travel (to the University or for group support), books, equipment, etc. This is a bursary payment of £2000 at the start of the academic year

- The Students will be allocated an Adviser from Student Services to support them during their studies and to help access any support services and this will be a chance to check in and get extra support when or if it is needed.

University of Sanctuary

This year the University Kent is applying for University of Sanctuary status. As part of the City of Sanctuary movement, the Universities of Sanctuary network aims to ‘make Higher Education institutions places of safety, solidarity and empowerment for people seeking sanctuary’.

To help ensure that the University’s application process is properly reflective and self-critical, the Migration and Movement Signature Research Theme held a series of seminars throughout the year that addressed the question ‘What is Sanctuary?’ Speakers from a range of disciplines, career stages and backgrounds discussed what sanctuary means and entails.

The University is a signatory to the City of Sanctuary Charter, is applying for University of Sanctuary status and is looking to develop links with other Universities of Sanctuary and with other applicant universities. 

For further information, please email us at


I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for the Article 26 award for providing me with the opportunity to resume my studies and pursue my academic goals. Your belief in my potential has been a driving force behind my success."

Anonymous feedback for the Article 26 Award

How we support

Through academic research, public engagement activities and collaborations with partners, we work hard to use our platform to be an advocate for tolerance and understanding and respect for all displaced people.  


  • supporting CARA (Council for At Risk Academics) in its work to provide urgently-needed help to academics in immediate danger, those forced into exile, and many who choose to work on in their home countries despite serious risks.  
  • Kent Law Clinic staff and students have been involved in a project to deliver legal advice workshops to asylum seekers residing at Napier Barracks, in collaboration with local charities Samphire and Napier Drop-In. Read more about their involvement. 

Refugee Week 2023

Refugee Week (19-25 June) is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. 

At Kent, we seek to enable people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels. We want to help our whole community to understand why people are displaced and the challenges they face when seeking safety, and develop a curious and compassionate approach to the topic of seeking refuge and asylum.


‘Refugee Tales are shared insights and experiences that not only serve to educate us all, but are also an opportunity to highlight the challenge that is still before us as we look to end the UK’s practice of indefinite detention".

Professor David Herd

Refugee Tales Project

Through books, walks and gatherings, the Refugee Tales project has been giving voice to asylum seekers and refugees in the UK since 2015.

Our support for Ukraine

We are working on a number of urgent and practical steps in collaboration with local and national partners to support those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.    

Sanctuary News