Skip to main content

Sanctuary at Bath

More people than ever are forced to flee conflict and persecution to find safety and sanctuary. Find out how we're working to help refugees and asylum seekers.

The University of Bath achieved the award of University of Sanctuary in November 2020.

This award, conferred by the charity City of Sanctuary, is in recognition of our commitment to being a welcoming and safe place for refugees and asylum seekers, to ensuring academic teaching and research flourish in this area, and to developing our collaboration with the wider local community.

Universities of Sanctuary are part of the City of Sanctuary UK initiative to make sure our nation is a welcoming place of safety for all.

Latest events and news

Find out about recent and upcoming talks, lectures, seminars, and the latest news.


Students' stories


Our sanctuary students

  • Ghazala is from Syria, an undergraduate Biomedical Sciences student and Gold Scholar
  • Mohammad was one of our first PGT Sanctuary Scholars from Afghanistan and studied Medical Biosciences
  • Noorullah is part of the research team behind the multi-million-pound Healthy Housing research project, which aims to improve living conditions in refugee camps by designing low cost and easy to construct shelters for residents

Our graduates working with displaced people

Noorullah Kuchai standing on campus

Leading research


Our researchers are highlighting and trying to solve the challenges faced by displaced people overseas and in the UK.

Examples include:

  • David Coley (ACE) and Jason Hart (SPS): 'Healthy Housing for the Displaced': improving shelter conditions for displaced populations in refugee camps around the globe
  • Katharina Lenner (SPS): Tackling the causes for flight? The changing features and effects of German refugee policy in Jordan
  • Peter Manning (SPS): Building inclusive civil societies with, and for, young people in five post-conflict countries
  • Isabelle Schafer (SPS): The role of Higher Education Institutions in the integration of forced migrants (refugees and asylum seekers) in the United Kingdom
  • Tom Avery (Education): How refugee-background children in the UK experience language education in schools
Professor David Coley showing research equipment to a child

Our teaching and courses

A number of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses within the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies and Department of Social and Policy Sciences contain units which relate to forced migration or displaced people.


Some examples of units in our Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies and Department of Social and Policy Sciences courses include:

  • Understanding Migrations
  • Conflict Security and International Development
  • Theories of Conflict and Conflict Resolution
  • European Integration, Culture and National Identity

Our local community


In 2018, students created a new society called Bath STAR (Student Action for Refugees). They aim to support all refugees and asylum seekers in the local community through volunteering, campaigning, and raising awareness on refugee issues. STAR members run a weekly Homework Club where refugee children find encouragement and assistance.

They also collaborated with the University’s Outreach team to provide an Open Day for refugees and asylum seekers on campus. STAR also have strong links with the Bath Welcomes Refugees organisation.

Funding from Alumni has also recently been approved to investigate providing subsidised or supported access to University facilities for local refugee families, for example access to summer sporting activities for children, employability advice, and translation services.

A group of students walking across campus

Our support and bursaries

Like other vulnerable groups of students, our refugee and asylum seeker students have a named contact within Student Services who they can go to with any queries or concerns, from application through to graduation and beyond.


Students have regular one-to-one meetings to talk about how they’re getting on and to make sure support is available from across the institution, whether it be from Wellbeing, Academic Skills, Careers, Accommodation, or somewhere else.

Undergraduate students with UK refugee or humanitarian protection status may be eligible for a Refugee Bursary.

This offers:

  • £1,000 per academic year
  • £1,000 to help with start-up costs
  • £1,000 on graduation

They also have access to means-tested bursaries and support including the Gold Scholarship Programme (GSP), Bath Bursary, and Income Related Scholarships. One GSP is ‘ring-fenced’ for refugee applicants.

We also offer two Sanctuary Scholarships per year to support students who are seeking asylum to study for a Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Masters. The scholarships provide a full tuition fee waiver and £15,000 bursary to cover living costs. These scholarships are jointly funded by Alumni donations, UCU, the University International Office, and academic departments.

Contact us

If you're involved with a University project that's supporting refugees or forced migrants, or would like to discuss further, please get in touch with Ben Goose.