Scholarship Opportunities for Refugees & Asylum Seekers 2024

Scholarships are one of the best ways in which higher education can become more accessible to international students.

Often a university or organisation will set up a series of scholarships for a particular group of students.

Scholarship opportunities for refugees or students seeking asylum are a lifesaving opportunity. It is a chance for students to get a university education.

Scholarship programmes for refugee students are similar to scholarship programmes for non-refugee students, with some additional considerations pertaining to the specific protection aspects that affect some refugees.

There are a number of factors to consider when seeking a scholarship to study abroad.

As a refugee student you will need clear information about what the scholarship covers, its requirements and the qualification that you will receive at the end of your studies.

This post highlights the scholarship opportunities for refugees and asylum students in USA, Europe, Canada, South Africa, Italy, Ethopia, UK, Australia, Malaysia, ect.

I will love to hear from you in the comment box below. Let me know if you have any questions or need further assistance.


UNHCR is a platform that helps students find accredited higher education academic or scholarship programmes verified by UNHCR to allow you to pursue advanced study, skills and professional development.

Get in touch with UNHCR if you are a refugee, an asylum-seeker or a stateless person looking for country specific information about helpful services, rights and duties.

Visit the help platform using the link below;

Scholarship for Refugees

Here is the list of scholarship opportunities available for refugees and students seeking asylum;

  • Albert Einstein Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI)
  • World University Service of Canada (WUSC)
  • Odysseus Academic Network
  • The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships
  • The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO
  • Monash Humanitarian Scholarship
  • USC Asylum Seeker Scholarship
  • ANU Humanitarian Scholarship
  • The Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) Project
  • University of the Sunshine Coast Asylum Seeker Scholarship
  • Goldsmiths University of London International Response Scholarship
  • Rowan Williams Cambridge Studentship
  • University of Bath Refugee Bursary
  • Birkbeck’s Sanctuary Scholarships
  • Students of Salaam Immigrant Student Scholarship
  • Charterup National Scholarship for Immigrants and Refugees

Albert Einstein Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI)

The DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) scholarship programme offers qualified refugee students the possibility to earn an undergraduate degree in their country of asylum.

Through the dedicated support of the German Government, UNHCR and private donors, the programme has supported over 18,000 young refugees to undertake tertiary studies since 1992.

Features of DAFI Scholarship

  • Tuition
  • Books
  • Monthly stipend (e.g. food allowance)
  • Housing
  • Local transportation expenses
  • Health insurance
  • Mentoring or psycho-social support

Targeted Country of Asylum

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Chad, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Ecuador, Egypt
  • Eritrea, Ethiopia
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Martinique
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

World University Service of Canada (WUSC)

The Student Refugee Program is a unique program that combines resettlement to Canada with access to post-secondary education for young refugees. It is managed by WUSC, a non-profit Canadian international development agency.

Note that the Student Refugee Program is NOT a scholarship program – students are sponsored for one year and receive basic financial and social support.

Application Procedures

WUSC accepts applications from eligible applicants in the following countries of asylum: Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda.

If you wish to apply to the Student Refugee Program, you must meet the following general eligibility requirements:

  • Be a refugee living in a country of asylum in which the program operates;
  • Have completed secondary school and have official and original transcripts of educational documents;
  • Be between 18-25 years old;
  • Be competent in English or French (oral and written);
  • Be single with no dependents/children;
  • Eligible and suitable for resettlement under Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees program;
  • Be self-reliant, mature and suitable for integration in Canada; and
  • Be currently facing barriers to accessing or completing post-secondary education (i.e. university or college)
  • Please note: There are specific eligibility requirements for each country of asylum that will be posted in each year’s Call for Applications.

If you meet the above criteria, please read the following before beginning the application process:

  • You must live in the country of asylum from which you are sending your application and be recognized as a refugee by the authorities who are mandated to give this status, i.e. the host country government or UNHCR.
  • Approximately 130-150 candidates are accepted by WUSC each year globally. The number of students by country of asylum will vary each year. There are no set targets of students by country of origin.
  • The sponsorship process can take up to two years or more. Final decisions are made by Canadian immigration officials before students are cleared for travel to Canada.
  • The application requirements will be listed in the Call for Application, available from our field office or partner organization. In general, you will be asked to:
    • Complete the Student Refugee Program application form
    • Include up-to-date contact information, including an email and a phone number (either your own or that of someone who can take a message for you)
    • Include a copy of your secondary school diploma and all important academic records, including any previous English or French language test results if available

USC Asylum Seeker Scholarship

The USC Asylum Seeker Scholarship aims to support those people seeking asylum in Australia by assisting with the costs of tuition in addition to study support payments, coupled with other supportive measures offered by USC.

The University (USC) will fund two (2) scholarships per annum.

Each scholarship will fully cover the international student tuition fees for any undergraduate or postgraduate program that a recipient is eligible to enter at USC plus include a stipend of $4,000 per year (pro-rata for part-time study) plus $1,000 one-off upfront payment in year 1.


  • A commencing undergraduate or postgraduate student undertaking study at USC;
  • Must be a holder of one of the following Australian visas:
    • Bridging Visa E (subclass 050)
    • Temporary Protection Visa (subclass 785)
    • Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (subclass 790)
  • Financial need

Odysseus Academic Network

This initiative is conceived as a response to the current asylum situation in Europe and aims to provide a number of refugee students with an opportunity to gain knowledge in European immigration and asylum law.

It intends to help refugees integrate into Europe, notably by allowing them to engage with European academics and continue their studies, which may have been interrupted due to forced departure from their home country.


  • Be a beneficiary of international protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection) in any European State. Preference may be given to recently recognised beneficiaries of international protection.
  • Hold an MA, or at least a BA or equivalent in Law or a related discipline, or have equivalent professional experience in a relevant field, for example in NGOs;
  • Speak and understand either English or French.

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans is proud to honor the contributions of continuing generations of immigrants and refugees to the United States


The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program uses three primary criteria for selection of Fellows:

  • The candidate has demonstrated creativity, originality and initiative in one or more aspects of her/his life.
  • The candidate has demonstrated a commitment to and capacity for accomplishment that has required drive and sustained effort.
  • The candidate has demonstrated a commitment to the values expressed in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This would include, but not be limited to, support of human rights and the rule of law, opposition to unwarranted encroachment on personal liberty, and advancing the responsibilities of citizenship in a free society.

In addition, the program considers two further criteria:

  • The candidate gives promise of continued significant contributions. Those contributions are likely to reflect distinctive creativity, originality and initiative and will mark the candidate as a leading and influential figure within her/his fields of endeavor.
  • The candidate’s graduate training is relevant to her/his long-term career goals and is of potential value in enhancing her/his future creativity and accomplishment.

The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO

The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO makes available 50 scholarships to students entitled to international protection for attending the courses included into the University’s educational offer.

The 50 beneficiaries of these scholarships will be able to enroll for one of the degree courses of the online University for free.

The aim is that of promoting and supporting the academic development of immigrants holding the status of refugees and contribute to their professional placement in the hosting country.

NINETTUNO University has, among its enrolled students, people coming from over 140 countries and its educational portal ( is the only one across the world that is realized in 5 languages (Italian, English, French, Arabic and Greek).

The students who are interested in this initiative can get in touch with the following UNINETTUNO contact people:

People in charge of the Secretariat

Monash Humanitarian Scholarship

Monash Humanitarian Scholarship is for asylum seeker or students with a bridging visa.

Successful applicants receive 100% international student funding for the Monash undergraduate degree of your choice plus a yearly allowance of $6000.

Scholarship Eligibility

  • A person who is in Australia and currently on:
    • a Bridging Visa E, or
    • a Bridging Visa A and has applied for a Permanent Protection visa, or
    • a Temporary Protection Visa, or
    • a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa.
  • A commencing or continuing student enrolled or intending to enrol in an undergraduate degree as an international student at a Monash campus in Australia.
  • Have achieved a minimum ATAR of 70.00
Scholarship Informattion
  • You must maintain a pass average (50% or above) each semester.
  • You can continue to receive the scholarship if your residency changes, however you will not be eligible to continue to receive tuition payments if you are changed to a Commonwealth Supported Place and are eligible to defer your fees, but you may continue to receive the allowance.
  • You may be asked to provide an annual progress report to donors, giving you an opportunity to share your experiences and benefits.

The Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) Project

Since 2013, BHER university partners have offered accredited certificate, diploma, undergraduate, and graduate degree programs through online, on-site, and blended modes.

All academic programs are offered free to the refugee and local students serviced by BHER.

The BHER model combines online and onsite (blended) teaching and learning to deliver university programs in Dadaab.

Goldsmiths University of London International Response Scholarship


£8,825 allowance A full tuition fee waiver for each year of study Accommodation fee for a single study bedroom in Goldsmiths halls of residence (up to £200 per week)

Number Available

Up to four (two for undergraduate students; two for postgraduate taught students)

Eligibility Criteria

You must meet the general eligibility criteria and regulations. You must also:

  • Have refugee status in the UK, or have an active application for asylum in the UK (you will be required to provide documentation to demonstrate your status). Supporting documents should be uploaded to your MyGoldsmiths account.
  • Be holding an offer of study on an undergraduate or taught postgraduate degree at Goldsmiths.

Rowan Williams Cambridge Studentship

The Rowan Williams Cambridge Studentship is a programme established by the Cambridge Trust to support students who face severe barriers in coming to study in Cambridge.


To be eligible, applicants need to:

  • Hold a conditional offer of admission to the University of Cambridge for any degree;
  • Be from an area of instability or zone of conflict;
  • Be, or have been, at risk of discrimination, persecution, suffering, violence or other abuse of their human rights.

Applicants do not need to have Refugee status.

Postgraduate Application

Postgraduate applicants should

  • apply by the funding deadline for their chosen course of study, and be offered conditional admission to the University of Cambridge;
  • tick the box to apply for funding, and fill in the Cambridge Trust section of the online form stating how they meet the eligibility criteria, as part of their application for admission through the University’s Applicant Portal.

Undergraduate Application

Undergraduate applicants should

  • apply for admission to the University of Cambridge in the normal way via a UCAS application and by the published deadline;
  • if offered conditional admission by a Cambridge College, complete an Application for Scholarships for Undergraduate Studies offered by the Cambridge Trust (sent by the College at time of conditional offer) including a Personal Statement of how they meet the eligibility criteria.

University of Bath Refugee Bursary

This bursary is for new undergraduate students who have Refugee status or Humanitarian Protection as defined below.

The definition for those studying in England, as confirmed by UKCISA, states that eligible students with Refugee or Humanitarian Protection status:

  • Must be ordinarily resident in England on the first day of the first academic year of your course;.
  • Must have been recognised as a refugee or granted HP by the UK Government, or be the spouse/civil partner/child of a person with that status, and have remained ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands since then.


To be eligible, you must also:

  • be enrolled on a full-time undergraduate or foundation degree and registered as a student at the University of Bath
  • started your course here in the 2017/18 academic year or later
  • have a household income of £42,875 or below
  • not already hold an honours degree (or equivalent)

Students are requested to complete an application for the Refugee Bursary and evidence must be in the form of an original letter/document, showing their Refugee or Humanitarian Protection status, from the Home Office/UK Government. Your household income will also need to be verified.

  1. The Bursary is worth £1,000 per academic year of study, plus £1,000 to help with start-up costs and a further £1,000 on graduation – a maximum of £7,000 over a 5 year programme including placement year.
  2. You cannot be considered for an award if you have not responded to our requests for and provided appropriate proof of your Refugee/Humanitarian Protection status.
  3. Awards cannot be claimed retrospectively for previous academic years.
  4. Awards will not normally be terminated nor repayment required on the basis of academic failure.
  5. Awards will be paid for one repeat year or part-year only. Students who have more than one year of repeat study, will need to evidence mitigating circumstances in order to be considered for additional support.
  6. The University reserves the right to terminate an award and demand repayment of funds already paid in the case of disciplinary action against an award-holder. Cases will be considered on an individual basis by the Director of Student Services.
  7. The University reserves the right to withdraw a Refugee Bursary from anyone who is found to have misled the University about any aspect of their eligibility and to seek repayment of any monies already paid by appropriate means.
  8. The Bursary is paid in two instalments each academic year: normally December and March. Eligible students will be asked to complete and sign a bank payment form.
  9. Please note Student Services may pass on your details to other parties within the University to ensure you receive the appropriate support and advice, if you have any concerns about this please contact us to discuss further.
  10. Students cannot receive more than one Care Leaver, Estranged student and Refugee Bursary. If you meet the eligibility criteria for more than one of these Bursaries then it will be at the discretion of Student Services which Bursary you receive. All of these bursaries provide the same financial support.
  11. If your situation or status changes during your studies, and this could affect your entitlement to the bursary, you must let the Student Retention & Success Team know as soon as possible via email to [email protected].

Birkbeck’s Sanctuary Scholarships

The Compass Project offers opportunities to those who would not otherwise be able to access university-level education elsewhere.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • those who have not previously studied a degree at a UK institution
  • those who have been out of formal education (including secondary education) for more than five years.

In addition to this you must have the following: 

  • you must be a person who is currently seeking asylum in the UK or hold one of the following statuses as a result of asylum claim: Limited Leave to Remain or Discretionary Leave to Remain
  • you must be resident in the UK
  • you must be not be eligible to receive student finance
  • you have applied to and been offered a place on a Birkbeck course.


We offer scholarships for the following types of degree programmes which can be taken as either part-time or full-time:

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