Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award


Applications for Sanctuary Scholarships for entry to the university in September 2024 are now OPEN!

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 toward study costs (e.g., travel, books, etc). This year, the following scholarships are available for the academic year starting in September 2024:

3 x Undergraduate Scholarships

3 x Postgraduate Scholarships 

Cardiff Metropolitan University is committed to providing equal opportunities for 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. 

“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 about the The Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award
"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

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 (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 are a refugee 

· You are in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine/Ukraine Family scheme 


· You have a conditional or unconditional offer from Cardiff Metropolitan University for entry in September 2024 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 OR you are in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine/family scheme and your sponsor can provide a reference.

·You live within suitable distance to easily commute to university.

·You do not require support for accommodation and general 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.

What does the scholarship include?

For 2024 entry, there will be 3 undergraduate and 3 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

· Daily meal allowance.

· Personal support from a dedicated mentor to enable students to identify and overcome barriers to achievement on their degree programme.

How can I apply?

Applications for September 2024 are now open!

· Please read the Sanctuary Award Application Guidance Notes thoroughly before completing the Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award Application Form​.

· 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, access the university website Study at Cardiff Metropolitan University - Study in Cardiff and submit an application as soon as possible. Did you know Future Learn provide a free online course to help asylum seekers through the application process of applying to a UK university.

· In addition to the application form, applicants must also submit 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.

Application deadline for September 2024 applicants is 1st July 2024. The successful applicants will be notified of their scholarship award by the end of August. 

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 Recipient 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!



 "I`m so glad that I was accepted to study MSc course under the Sanctuary Scholarship scheme at Cardiff Metropolitan University. This opportunity helped me a lot from the financial aspect as well as improving and developing more skills such as; technical and soft skills. My time at the university was fantastic and I feel that it has gone past quick, I will always miss it. I built great relationship with students and tutors that allowed me to finalize my master's degree smoothly.

MSc in Information Technology Management with Distinction is the degree that I have gained as part of the Sanctuary Scholarship. As a result, I currently work in cybersecurity field at one of the UK universities, and in the future, I'm looking to expand my knowledge by continuing my studies into a PhD level. I believe that I wouldn`t be where I`m now without the scholarship opportunity, as it has opened a lot of doors to me, I do really appreciate it.

Overall, I would like to thank Natalie Buckland the Head of Global Student Advisory Service and everyone including tutors and staff at Cardiff Metropolitan University for their enormous help and support that I have received during my studies. All of them have done an amazing job by making sure that I received all the support that I needed to complete the course successfully." (Anonymous)



I was forced to move from my country, Sudan to the United Kingdom in September of 2017.In Sudan I spent many years studying and practicing within the field of biomedical research.

Since I arrived in Cardiff, I have concentrated on acclimatising to the UK and attending English classes. I explored several options and believed that continuing my education would be the best thing I could do to improve my employment prospects within my existing field. I chose the Biomedical Science Masters course as it would enable me to use my existing skills, knowledge and background whilst giving me a qualification that is recognised in the UK.

Nevertheless, two obstacles faced me: The financial support to cover the master's fee and the English language requirements. Fortunately, with the support of my support-worker Simon Murry from Journey 2 work organisation, Cardiff GOV.UK, I joined the free IELTS preparation classes run by Cardiff Metropolitan university, designed for international students. Also, Simon and I applied for most refugees and asylum seekers scholarships across the UK. Luckily, I got the Sanctuary award from Cardiff Met, a university in a town that I used to and settled in.

Throughout my studying I had some difficulties as the British educational

system varied from the Sudanese system. However, the Cardiff-Met international office, provided me with the right help. Moreover, during the lockdown in 2020 I had further ongoing support from Student Services through the chaplaincy. After I finished my degree Student Services also offered me many webinars and one to one meetings about C.V writing, creating a LinkedIn account, and how to handle jobs interviews.

Completing this course qualified me to fulfil my potential as a competent and experienced laboratory scientist and allowed me to have my current job at PerkinElmer pharmaceutical company.

In summary, the Sanctuary award gave me the opportunity to regain a big part of my identity which I had lost by having to move to the UK. (Omima)


I was extremely fortunate, and one of the most wonderful things I received was a sanctuary scholarship from Cardiff Met University in 2020. This award was a source of encouragement and motivation for me, and I will never forget Mrs. Natalie's role and support for her attention to detail, constant follow-up on the situation, and continuous assistance and support, whether psychological or mental, in addition to personal support. If we find someone who assists us in our times of need, we will be able to rediscover our inner strength. This opportunity inspired me to be enthusiastic about my studies and achieve my academic goals. I would like to thank Cardiff Met University (my lovely university) for this great opportunity and to support refugees who have been through serious issues that forced them to leave their families and countries to start a new life. I consider this scholarship as a first step to a bright future in the UK. I obtained merit in MSc Human Resources Management last year and now I'm planning to study PhD in the coming years.)

Kadi Abdul


My name is Bushra and I was awarded scholarship at Cardiff Metropolitan university for Masters of Research in Biomedical Science. I had a break of 5 years in my studies because of being a full time mom. After my daughter started full time school I thought of going back to my dream journey of completing my education. 

Dreaming about something and actually doing that in practical life are two different things. I had to think about finances. During my search for funding I came across Sanctuary awards. After looking deep into that I figured out that I can apply for that. So, I started application and I was uncertain if I could ever be successful but there we are!! I was selected for the award. It was really great experience and a hope for my next step in my life. The staff in the university was really helpful, all the teachers were cooperating and helping. I really enjoyed learning and now I am a graduate in Biomedical Science. It is great achievement which I could never achieve without this scholarship.