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Discretionary Leave to Remain (DLR) Scholarship launched

The University has released details of its new Discretionary Leave to Remain (DLR) Scholarship, which was created as a result of our lobbying through last year's Equal Access campaign.

The campaign was created by then Equality and Diversity Officer, Alicia Coupland, in 2013 and aimed to remove barriers to accessing education for refugees and asylum seekers, who are expected to pay international tuition fees to study at Sussex.

Changes to regulations in 2012 meant that people with DLR were no longer eligible for receiving student finance and therefore very few were able to afford to pay international tuition fees as well as the costs of living. 

Refugees can apply for funding from Student Finance England if their refugee status is granted prior to coming to university. If status is granted while they are a student, they can apply for funding from the term after they have been given refugee status.

Those who receive the award will have their fees paid, and will receive a cash award of £3,000 per year. There are two undergraduate scholarships available, and the award is means tested, with the same household income threshold as the University's First Generation Scholars programme. The deadline for applications is 30th June 2015.

In response to the launch of the scholarship, Alicia said:

I'm thrilled the University has recognised that those with discretionary leave to remain in the UK are not international students and shouldn't be charged international students fees.

This is a massive step in the right direction and I hope the University continues to do all it can to make it a welcoming place for asylum seekers and refugees so thank you to all those who supported the campaign!

The next step is for the University to classify all asylum seeking students and those with DLR as home students to send a strong message that asylum seekers are welcome here.

Rianna Gargiulo, Welfare Officer, has been responsible for holding the University to its promise since the scholarships were agreed in June 2014. She said:

I was made aware of this incredible campaign as a student, and therefore felt privileged to have inherited work on this as Welfare Officer. I'm proud and grateful towards the student volunteers and officers who were involved in the work on Equal Access.

I'm glad to have been able to be involved in guaranteeing the University's commitment to the creation of these scholarships, and I cannot wait to meet the students who take them up next academic year.

There is much more work that needs to be done around international fees for students with DLR, and also around lobbying the University to recognise the need to also include asylum seekers in this category.

The Students' Union will continue working with student-led groups, such as Sussex STAR (Student Action for Refugees), to lobby the University for the expansion of provision and support to an even wider range of people currently unable to access education.

If you require more information about the scholarships or how to apply for them, please contact the Student Funding Team at the Student Life Centre.


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