Current students at the University of Hull

University of Sanctuary

The University of Hull was awarded University of Sanctuary status in June 2018.

Both the City of Hull and the University of Hull have a long tradition of welcoming and supporting those who seek sanctuary here.

We strongly believe in inclusive access to higher education, and we endeavour to continue reducing barriers and supporting people seeking sanctuary in realising their academic potential, as well as fostering a culture of welcome and support among staff, students and the wider community.

University of Sanctuary

“As the local MP for the University of Hull, and the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Friends of the University of Hull, I am delighted and proud that Hull is a University of Sanctuary.

"It is important that those fleeing persecution should be able to access top-quality higher education and obtain professional qualifications in Hull. Both the City of Hull and the University have a strong record of welcoming and supporting all those who make their home here.”

Dame Diana Johnson, MP for Kingston upon Hull North


Guidance for people seeking sanctuary on applying to university

We want to make it as easy as possible for people seeking sanctuary to study at the University of Hull. We have gathered together guidance on applying to the University and other useful resources to help you explore the support that is available both on campus and in the city.


Financial support

The University offers financial support to entrants seeking asylum in the UK. All new asylum seeker students at the University are eligible to receive a Sanctuary Fee Reduction, paying fees equivalent to the home rate rather than international fees.

We’re also pleased to be able to offer Sanctuary Scholarships for up to three new entrants each year. These Scholarships offer a full tuition fee waiver, an annual £2,000 study grant, and tailored personal support for the full duration of a programme of study.


Sanctuary Champions

Our Sanctuary Champions, a network of staff and student volunteers from across the University, work together to foster a University-wide culture of inclusion for those seeking sanctuary, and lead projects to support the needs of people seeking sanctuary in higher education and the wider community.

We also work closely with Hull City of Sanctuary and sanctuary organisations across the city, such as Open Doors, Welcome to English, the Refugee Council and Hull Help for Refugees.


Repairing Broken Lives

‘Repairing Broken Lives’ is a collection of songs and videos which aim to raise awareness of the experience of seeking sanctuary in the UK in the 21st century. Working with people seeking sanctuary in Hull, the project is a collaboration between the University of Hull, the Hull-based charity Open Doors and singer-songwriter Paul Field and is funded by the Ferens Educational Trust.


You can watch the music videos for the three songs completed to date below.

The Politics of kindness

Walking in your shoes

These 4 Walls


Reflections on the project

Dr Nigel Shaw

Gathering the information for the music videos was often a distressing experience, hearing from the asylum seekers and refugees why they had to leave their homes, their journeys to the UK and Hull and their experiences of the UK’s ‘hostile environment’, designed to deter refugees from coming to the UK. However, it has also been an uplifting experience and a real pleasure to work with the asylum seekers on the songs, to see how talented and accomplished they are, and to meet and work with the volunteers and workers of the Open Doors project. I was also pleased to be able to provide some skills workshops at Open Doors, based on those that I normally offer for research students at the University.

My only regret is that the Covid-19 lockdown intervened in our work on a fourth song. But we will resume work to complete ‘We Are The Song’ once social distancing restrictions have eased sufficiently to allow us to record sanctuary seekers’ performances and their input to the music and visuals.

I was struck by the similarities between some of the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers and those highlighted in Stolen Lives, a previous collaboration between the University of Hull, the NASUWT and Paul Field which looked at human trafficking and modern and historic slavery. War and the uprooting of populations makes people so vulnerable to others’ greed and exploitation. I was honoured that the sanctuary seekers who participated in the project were willing to share with me their experiences of facing such vulnerability, and I pay tribute to their resilience and to the care and welcome they and the Open Doors staff and volunteers offer to others.

I hope the videos provide helpful prompts for reflection and discussion. We would welcome your thoughts and feedback on the project.

Nigel Shaw
Doctoral College
University of Hull