"I was elated when I heard that I had been awarded an Article 26 Scholarship. The tears of joy and overwhelming relief made it difficult to read out the offer letter to my family."
In 2020, Sussex was awarded the title of University of Sanctuary in acknowledgement of its efforts to welcome and support forced migrants. It is one of only 15 UK universities to be awarded this title.
Recognising the barriers faced by forced migrants and refugees when trying to obtain student funding, Sussex introduced Article 26 Scholarships, which take their name from article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Everyone has the right to education. These sanctuary scholarships provide support for students that are not eligible to receive student loans due to their immigration status.
Adarsh is an Article 26 scholar. This is his story:
“I came to the UK from Mauritius when I was 10 years old. I completed my primary, secondary and sixth form education in London. At school, I was always confident, happy and sociable. I made sure I made the most of my school years by studying hard and taking part in extra-curricular activities like playing football and joining the school council.
“When I received my A Level results, I was thrilled to have achieved the grades required to go to university to study law. However, my joy was abruptly quashed. While my friends and classmates progressed, I was held back.
“Despite completing my schooling and spending well over half of my life in the UK, I was distraught to find out that, because of my immigration status, I was not entitled to student finance to fund my university studies. I was devastated, lonely and confused.
“It was only after I joined the organisation ‘Let Us Learn’ that I was made aware of the laws governing eligibility for student finance. I was classed as an international student so had to pay higher tuition fees. The fees and living costs associated with going to university were simply unaffordable for my family.
“For the next four years I lived at home with my parents, not doing very much except waiting for some light at the end of the tunnel. In 2018, I found out that I had met the eligibility criteria to apply for an Article 26 Scholarship at the University of Sussex. I submitted an application to study Law with International Relations as well as for the Scholarship, and I remained hopeful.
I was elated when I heard that I had been accepted at Sussex and was being awarded an Article 26 Scholarship. The tears of joy, screams of happiness and overwhelming relief made it difficult to read out the offer letter to my family. The Scholarship not only covered my tuition fees, it also provided me with a maintenance grant, which helped my family’s financial situation as I didn’t need to depend on them for so much. For me, the Scholarship was the light at the end of that very dark tunnel.” Adarsh Ramdawor
law with international relations llb
“I was overjoyed when I arrived on the beautiful Sussex campus to begin a new and exciting chapter of my life, and I made sure that I experienced as many of the things that Sussex has to offer as possible. I made life-long friends, joined societies, played football, learned tennis, joined the Widening Participation Ambassador program, and become a Residential Advisor – all whilst progressing academically. Finally, I could be the confident, happy and sociable individual that I knew I was.
“I am humbled by and immensely thankful for my Article 26 Scholarship and I sincerely thank the University and the Sussex alumni community for supporting and recognising me in this way. The Scholarship transformed my experience of studying at Sussex and, now that I have completed that chapter of my life, I can look to the future as a proud Sussex graduate.
“The Article 26 Scholarship truly changed my world. I have no doubt that I will give to the Sussex Fund in the future so that Article 26 Scholarships can continue to support students like me. Having worked with other young adults through ‘Let Us Learn’, I know that there are many bright and talented individuals who could have their lives changed for the better through this Scholarship."
A donation to the Sussex Fund contributes directly to supporting Article 26 Scholarships.