Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award

Applications for the September 2021 Scholarship are now closed. Information for applicants for the September 2022 Sanctuary Scholarship will be available here in early 2022.

In 2018, Cardiff Metropolitan University became the first university in Wales to be recognised as a University of Sanctuary. This is as a result the University’s commitment to ensuring it is a welcoming, safe and friendly environment for people who have an irregular migration status and for providing opportunities and support to allow forced migrants, equal access to higher education. 

The University has proudly offered Sanctuary Award scholarships since 2017. These include a full fee waiver for each year of the course, plus financial support with essential living cost. This year, the following scholarships are available for the academic year starting in September 2021: 

2 x Undergraduate Scholarships 

2x Postgraduate Scholarships 

Cardiff Metropolitan University is committed to providing equal opportunities for all people seeking sanctuary in the UK and supporting them to meet their full potential and ambitions. 

Please see below for details of the application process and eligibility criteria. 

Important information for Asylum Seeker students – It is usual practice for universities to classify asylum seekers as international students for tuition fee purposes, due to their temporary residency status. However, in order to make higher education more affordable, Cardiff Metropolitan University is very pleased to confirm that asylum seekers (who have not received a scholarship) will be charged the same fee as local students, rather than the higher international student fees.

What does the scholarship include?

For 2021 entry, there will be 2 undergraduate and 2 postgraduate scholarships available. Each scholarship includes:

  • A full fee waiver for the undergraduate or postgraduate course the applicant holds an offer for;
  • Assistance toward local travel to Cardiff Met campus (Due to the changing nature of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the specifics of this allowance will be confirmed to the successful students in due course)
  • Assistance toward a lunch allowance during term time. (Due to the changing nature of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the specifics of this allowance will be confirmed to the successful students in due course) 
  • Personal support to enable students to identify and overcome barriers to achievement on their degree programme.

How do I know if I am eligible to apply for this scholarship?

All applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be considered for the Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award:

You are one of the following:

  • You are an asylum seeker
  • You have been granted discretionary leave to remain or Humanitarian Protection
  • You are the partner/dependent included on the application of an asylum seeker in the UK
  • You are a refugee

Please Note: Spouses/civil partners must have been the spouse/civil partner on the date on which the asylum application was made. Children/step-children must have been aged under 18 on the date on which the asylum application was made.


  • You have a conditional or unconditional offer from Cardiff Metropolitan University for entry in September 2021 onto a degree course.
  • You are currently attending a school, college, community or voluntary group, which can provide a reference in support of your application.
  • You live within suitable distance to easily commute to university.
  • You do not require support for accommodation and living expenses.


Applicants must meet ALL of these strict eligibility criteria and be in a position to verify their circumstances in order apply. Applicants who do not meet all the criteria will not be considered for the scholarship. 


How can I apply?

You will first need to hold a conditional or unconditional offer to study at Cardiff Met. If you have not yet submitted an application to the university, Future Learn provide a free online course to help asylum seekers through the application process of applying to a UK university.

Applicants must apply before the application deadline of 5.00pm on 5th July 2021. Please read the Sanctuary Award Application Guidance Notes thoroughly before completing the Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award Application Form. 

In addition to the application form, applicants must also submit a personal statement, a copy of their Cardiff Met offer letter, a reference and evidence of their current immigration status/pending status. (see guidance notes for full details).


When will I be notified if my application has been successful?

Please note that this is a competitive process and there are limited scholarships available, consequently not all applications will be successful.

Applicants will be notified if their application has been shortlisted within 4 weeks of the application deadline.

Notification of the scholarship awards to the successful applicants will be made by 1st September 2021. Please note, applicants may be required to attend an interview which will take place between July and August 2021.


What if I have questions about the application process?

If you would like some advice or clarification on making an application, please do not hesitate to contact us at: or call 02920 416494.

How has the Sanctuary Award helped students at Cardiff Met?

Read Sanctuary Scholarship Winner Nasrin's story below:

My name is Nasrin Ali Mohammed, I am 35 years old; from the Kurdistan region of Iraq. I have been living in the UK for nearly eight years. Before arriving in the UK, I did a Bachelor’s degree in Arabic language at the University of Sulaimani. I worked full-time as a teacher in a secondary school, until November 2007. In May 2011, I arrived in Britain and settled in Cardiff, as my husband gained a scholarship to study his PhD at Cardiff Metropolitan University. However, due to several problems such as cultural differences, language, finance, family obligation (as I have two children) and my husband’s study, I had no opportunity to study and develop my career.

Among these problems, lack of understanding of English language was my major concern to pursue and develop my career. I knew that learning English language is not easy but it is necessary. So, to overcome this barrier, I gradually started doing several short English courses such as ESOL, especially after my husband finished his study.

Although, these courses were not enough to reach my ultimate goal which was studying at university, I took part in some training courses such as Child Psychology, Managing Child Behaviour and, the most recent one, Engendering Change course which were delivered by Cardiff Council. These courses played a significant role not only to improve my English, but also created a chance to understand the education system here better and shaped the way I saw the world, specifically the way I thought about education, culture….etc.

My children going to school full time, support and encouragement from my husband and knowing new and different people provided invaluable opportunities to find some paid and unpaid jobs. These jobs allowed me to interact with many different children and adults, of varying ages and cultures across a range of different backgrounds. Specifically, my understanding of the teaching profession has increased through carrying out work placements at two different primary schools as an assistant teacher and organizer. I was working as a volunteer at a primary school; all this led to me seeking an academic course to enrich my experience.

Consequently, in mid-2017 I applied to study a Masters in Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University but I was told I would not be given a place until I got at least a 6.0 score in IELTS. Although, I found it difficult, I was directed to a community centre where Cardiff Metropolitan Widening Access provides training for people who need Academic IELTS training and testing. At that centre, I met several dedicated teachers and tutors who helped us not only to pass the test but also widened our worldview. I am pretty sure without their support and encouragement it would not be possible to overcome such obstacles. As a result, I passed the test and was given an unconditional offer to study Masters in Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

I have to admit that the financial difficulty remained problematic at that time. Fortunately, I found a scholarship called the Sanctuary Award by Cardiff Metropolitan University. As a result, I applied and won the scholarship. That was a fantastic chance to go to university and start my Masters. The Sanctuary Award scholarship waived all the tuition fees plus gave some extra help. Now I am at the beginning of my study which is Masters in Education.

Finally, I would like to thank everybody who helped me succeed in achieving my goals, I will tell them your support and assistance is unforgettable and undeniable. I really appreciate your assistance, motivation and encouragement. I would like to remind those reading this story, please always be positive, realise your potential and never give up. In short, why wait for the opportunity, create one by yourself!

NOTE: for scholarship exceptions and terms and conditions please see the main scholarships page  

If you do not meet the criteria for the Cardiff met Sanctuary Award, you may be interested in similar scholarships at other institutions. Click here for more information.

“The Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award has helped me find myself again and given me the ability to dream after an incredibly hard few years."

Student Story Read the article

 Content Editor

"Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award gave me such an amazing opportunity to continue my education when I was living in absolute uncertainty and when so many doors were closed on me. It would have been impossible to embark on my PhD journey today if it wasn’t for your great help. Thank you so much for making my dreams come true." - Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award Recipient 2017/18