University of Sanctuary

Updated on 23 November 2021

We are in the process of applying for accreditation as a University of Sanctuary, to enable us to become part of the wider Sanctuary community

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The University of Dundee is committed to engaging and supporting sanctuary seekers in many different ways and works to increase understanding of issues surrounding asylum seekers and refugees. We provide a welcoming environment for our sanctuary students, as well as seek to work with individuals and communities beyond the campus to promote and support the principles of sanctuary. To this end the university is in the process of applying for accreditation as a University of Sanctuary, to enable us to become part of the wider Sanctuary community.

The university has a long track record of teaching and research in Human Rights, teaching students how to become human rights advocates, providing sanctuary and scholarship opportunities for human rights defenders and maintains an ongoing partnership with the British Council’s Higher Education Scholarships for Palestinians (HESPAL) programme and with the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara).

Humanitarian support working group

The University has established a Humanitarian Support Working Group to support the development, identification, and integration of activities intended to create a welcoming space for all of those in need of humanitarian protection.


  • Kurt Mills, Professor of International Relations and Human Rights
  • Amanda Shaw, Head of English for International Students


  • Doha Abualhija, PhD student in Dentistry
  • Dr. John Blicharski, Head of Widening Access and Participation
  • Feras Bouri, Student, Postgraduate Medicine
  • Dr. Shane Collins, Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions
  • Rev. Fiona Douglas, University Chaplain
  • Dr. Fernando Fernandes, Reader in Community Education
  • Professor Divya Jindal-Snape, Professor of Education, Inclusion and Life Transitions
  • Lauren MacGregor, Student Welfare Officer, Dundee University Student’s Association
  • Keith Mackle, Assistant Director and Head of Support Services, Student Services
  • Dr. Usha Mani, Tutor, English for Academic Purposes
  • Dr. Golnar Nabizadeh, Lecturer in English
  • Graham Nicholson, Head of Students Services
  • Dr. Claire O’Brien, Lecturer in Law
  • Levent Piskin, LLM student (Cara/Humanitarian Scholar, and former human rights defender fellow)
  • Dr. Martin Purcell, Community Education
  • Katy Scott, Head of Admissions and Applicant Experience
  • STAR Dundee
  • Sharon Sweeney, Student Funding Officer
  • Allanah Watson, Admissions and Applicant Experience

If you would like to be involved in this working group, please contact Kurt Mills.

Admissions policy

Refugees and asylum seekers are considered under the University’s Contextual Admissions Policy.

The University has recently made the decision to classify refugees and asylum seekers as home students for purposes of undergraduate degrees, thus eliminating tuition fees for these students.

The University’s Contextual Admissions Policy aims to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and that any circumstances which may have impacted an applicant’s potential are taken into account throughout the application process.

All applications are screened at the point of application, and if the information provided suggests that an applicant is a refugee or asylum seeker, they are given a contextual flag to ensure they are treated in line with the Contextual Admissions Policy.

Refugees and asylum seekers are considered as "category 1" applicants, which ensures that:

  • They are made a supported, widening-access level offer
  • They are offered the opportunity to participate in our free Access Summer School (undergraduate applicants) as an alternative means of meeting our entry requirements or to help them prepare for university-level study
  • If applying for an interviewing subject, they will normally be offered an interview (provided they are studying/have studied any essential subjects)

Scholarship programmes

In 2017 the University launched a programme of Humanitarian Scholarships, which offers full-fee scholarships along with monthly stipends for living costs and accommodation. It offers students the opportunity to study for one year at the masters’ level and the opportunity to take up the scholarship to pursue a PhD. Both levels of study include the university’s ongoing partnership with the British Council’s Higher Education Scholarships for Palestinians (HESPAL) programme and with the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara).

English Language preparation

For refugees who require pre-sessional English language support, tuition fees are waived. English for International Students (EIS delivers free in-sessional support to all international members of the university community. This support can take the form of semester-long language courses, specialist English modules aligned to degree programmes and individual drop-in sessions available throughout the academic year.

How to apply

Information about applying for any of our scholarships can be found on our Scholarship pages.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Allanah Watson.

Current students

If you are a sanctuary scholar at the University, there are many people and resources available to you to help you settle and find your way around the campus.

Please contact Sharon Sweeney if you would like any help or information about the campus or about living in Dundee.

Corporate information category Academic governance