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About Universities of Sanctuary

Universities of Sanctuary is an initiative to recognise and celebrate the good practice of universities welcoming people seeking sanctuary through facilitated access to higher education (HE), supporting local refugee communities, and taking an active role in learning about the issues and obstacles faced by this group in pursuing HE.

University of Sanctuary applications focus on the principles of learning, embedding and sharing. These principles have been developed in recognition of the unique role Higher Education Institutions can play in creating and promoting a culture of welcome.

Universities as places of research and learning, are ideally placed to develop and promote learning about what it means to seek sanctuary, to embed this learning within their institution, and to celebrate and share their practices of welcome with other Universities and the wider community

Learn more in our Introduction to University of Sanctuary event.


UoS at Warwick

The Universities of Sanctuary scheme enables us to connect existing activities which seek to increase understanding of sanctuary seeking and create a culture of welcome within and beyond campus, while also providing opportunities to develop new initiatives.

We have developed an action plan which will be rolled out over the three-year award period. We aim to foster learning about sanctuary, embed sanctuary activities across the university, and share our activities beyond the university more widely.

“I am proud that Warwick holds the honour of being a University of Sanctuary and that I was able to reinforce our commitment to asylum seekers and refugees being able to access higher education by signing the City of Sanctuary and STAR pledge in 2019. Our students and staff are actively involved both in supporting sanctuary seekers, raising awareness of their experiences and the contribution that they make to student and city life.”

Professor Stuart Croft, VC University of Warwick


Coventry, City of Sanctuary

The University is located in Coventry, which became a City of Sanctuary in 2011 to join a group of cities and towns that hold the vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all and proud to offer sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution. You can read more about Coventry City of Sanctuary on the City of Sanctuary UK website.

"Coming from a war-torn country, accessing world-class research facilities and state-of-the-art laboratories was like a dream coming true for me. Additionally, the caring support network starting from university staff to my personal supervisor has been uncanny. Warwick has zero tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind and the fact that it has dedicated funding for refugees speaks out and loud for that. Also, the multinational environment of Warwick is an experience itself where I have been very lucky to make friends and meet academics from all over the world. For these reasons, I strongly encourage refugees to apply to Warwick."

Sanctuary Student, Life Sciences