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A scholarship scheme offering support to refugees and asylum seekers has been renewed for a second year given the success of its introduction.

This announcement comes at the start of Refugee Week, the UK’s largest festival celebrating the contribution of refugees and promoting understanding of why people seek sanctuary.

The Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme offers support towards the cost of full or part-time undergraduate degrees. Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said: ‘I’m delighted to see this scheme run for another year. I am sure we will again have applications from many excellent prospective students, and we look forward to welcoming them to study at our university.

‘We know there are factors that make it difficult for people from refugee and asylum-seeking communities to apply for university. Their previous studies may have been interrupted, they might not have evidence of their previous qualifications or their qualifications are not transferable. Our scheme has been designed to accommodate these factors and encourage them to apply.’

In its first year, the scheme received over 130 applications for 2016/17 entry and the University awarded scholarships to 10 students. The aim of the scholarship scheme is to break down educational and employment barriers asylum seekers and refugee communities might face.

A 32-year-old student studying for a Master’s in Robotics has benefitted from the scheme saying: ‘I will be forever grateful to the University of Bristol for their noble and generous Sanctuary Scholarship. I have been able to undertake a Master’s degree in the Faculty of Engineering.’

He applied for the scholarship after he was unable to return to Syria to complete his studies at Damascus University. He is now planning to undertake a PhD studentship at the University and says ‘this would not have been possible without the help and support of the Sanctuary Scholarship during my Master’s degree.’

For full information on the Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme, including eligibility and how to apply, visit the University of Bristol’s website.

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