Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Support for refugee and asylum seeker students

If you are a refugee or an asylum seeker, we will give you support throughout the application process and while you are studying with us.

Who we support

We recognise and support those for whom one or more of the following applies:


A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, violence or persecution. They have had their status as a refugee recognised under the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

A refugee is entitled to the same social and economic rights as any UK citizen. Refugees have full access to:

  • medical treatment
  • education
  • benefits
  • housing
  • employment

Asylum seeker

An asylum seeker is a person who has asked the government to recognise their refugee status and is waiting to hear the outcome of their application.

Humanitarian protection

A person who has been granted humanitarian protection has permission to stay in the UK for humanitarian reasons.

Limited leave to remain (LLR) or discretionary leave to remains (DLR)

A person who has been granted either of these has been given permission to stay temporarily in the UK.

Widening access offers 

Refugee or asylum seeker students will be considered as Plus Flag applicants. In the majority of cases, Plus Flag applicants will be guaranteed an offer at the minimum entry requirement.

Find entry requirements on our degree finder

You need to be predicted to meet those grades, though. You’ll also need to have any required subjects and these vary depending on your chosen degree. We can’t make this guarantee for subjects like:

  • art
  • design
  • medicine
  • veterinary medicine
  • education
  • nursing

This is because we look at more than just academic grades in the selection process for those subjects, such as portfolios, UCAT scores and interviews. 

However, for all of these degrees Plus Flag applicants will receive extra consideration in the admissions process. For example, they will be guaranteed to move to the interview stage for medicine.

Widening access offers information

How we support you

We offer you support before you apply to the University and throughout your degree, such as:

  • advice on the application process, which could involve a meeting or a chat over the phone before you apply to the University
  • guidance on funding you will be eligible for and how to apply
  • coordinating with other support services on your behalf
  • offering you a mentor in your first year and introduce you to the on-campus network of students from refugee / asylum backgrounds
  • a friendly face at the University and someone to talk to

Support at the University

Tuition fees and scholarships for asylum seekers

If you are an asylum seeker, you can find out about your tuition fee status and scholarships you can apply to:  

Tuition fee information and scholarships

Contact us

Dr Neil Speirs

  • Widening Participation
  • Student Recruitment and Admissions

Contact details

Contact us through an online sign language interpreter

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact the University of Edinburgh via Contact Scotland BSL, the online British Sign Language video relay interpreting service.

Find out more on the Contact Scotland BSL website