The University of Manchester – a university of sanctuary

We're working to make the University a welcoming and safe place for refugees and asylum seekers.

As a university of sanctuary, we bring together our existing work supporting asylum seekers and refugees to help develop further support for those seeking sanctuary. This is outlined in our university of sanctuary submission which provides an overview of existing activity and sets out our commitments to further develop our support.

University of sanctuary logo

Universities of sanctuary are part of the City of Sanctuary UK initiative to ensure our nation is a welcoming place of safety for all. The city of Manchester is a city of sanctuary and the University works closely with this organisation to help it's aim of making Manchester a place that is open and fair. 

Our commitment reaches all three of our University core goals of world-class research, outstanding learning and student experience and social responsibility.


Our researchers are highlighting the challenges faced by asylum seekers and refugees through their academic work. Examples of current research projects include:

  • looking at the home-making practices of migrants, refugees and women;
  • understanding the role of social identity in well-being and adjustment in refugee populations;
  • training asylum seeker women to become peer researchers.

Learning and student experience 

We help sanctuary seekers afford university with our financial support package. This includes five Article 26 Sanctuary Scholarships and tuition fee concessions for eligible students.

To help support their learning, our Library provides reference access to asylum seekers and refugees. This acts as a place to study and access more than four million printed books and manuscripts. 

Outside of studying, asylum seekers and refugees can become volunteers and work with registered supportive organisations, helping them develop transferable skills, meet new people and make a difference to local communities.

Social responsibility

We ensure that social responsibility is at the heart of our degree programmes and include teaching modules and placements relating to migration and sanctuary seekers for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Outside of our degree programmes, we run awareness sessions in partnership with Manchester City of Sanctuary for staff and students about sanctuary seekers, and activities with schools and the local community during Refugee Week. 

Find out more

If you are a member of staff or student at The University of Manchester interested in learning more about our work, we have a network which meets biannually and a Microsoft Teams group to share best practice. Contact us to get involved.