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University of Sussex extends Syrian refugee scholarship

Photo © Russell Watkins/DFID (CC BY 2.0)

Following wide consultation with UK government agencies and third sector organisations, the University of Sussex has extended the reach of the Sussex Refugee Scholarship, announced last year, and will welcome its first students onto campus in early 2017. 

The scheme will offer intensive English-language courses  for up to 50 Syrian refugees and will cover the full course tuition fees. Since its initial announcement, the University has decided to widen the scope of the offer to include:

  • Expanding the age limit from 18–25, to 1835. As well as making the scheme open for students wishing to continue to further study or work, it will now also be open to refugees in the Sussex area who have expert knowledge, such as teachers and lawyers but who are often held back from re-establishing their careers due to insufficient English-language levels
  • Extending the offer to Syrian refugees who are resident in Sussex and have been awarded Refugee or Humanitarian status. Previously the scheme was open only to Syrian nationals in the UK under the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (‘SVPRS’)

These changes come about after extensive consultation with UK government agencies, Brighton and Hove City Council, local authorities across East and West Sussex and charities who work with refugees. The scholarship has also been developed in conjunction with researchers at Sussex who have assessed the opportunities available for refugees to reintegrate themselves into new communities. 

Commented Professor Ray Satchell, Director of the Sussex Centre for Language Studies: “Launching this scholarship has been a major priority for the University and it’s been critical to establish a scheme that has the full support of government officials, local authorities and charity experts. We’re confident that  our scheme will meet the needs of individual Syrian refugees who have a myriad of different circumstances, backgrounds and learning needs.

“I know I speak on behalf of the University of Sussex community that we’ve been so eager to get this scheme off the ground; it’s something we care about passionately and we are looking forward to welcoming our new language students onto campus in 2017.”

Courses are for five, 10, 16 or 28 weeks. Duration depends on the shortlisted candidates' English-language level, which will be tested as part of the application process.

To be eligible for the Sussex Syrian Refugee Scholarship, as well as meeting the English-language requirements, applicants must:

  • Complete the application form by 19 December, which includes information on previous education and a personal statement, to a satisfactory standard
  • Provide evidence that they have been awarded Refugee or Humanitarian status or are in the UK as part of the UK Government's Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme for Syrian nationals ('SVPRS')
  • Be aged between 18 and 35 at the date of the commencement of the relevant English-language course

Further details and information on the application process can be found online.

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By: Tom Walters
Last updated: Friday, 2 December 2016

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