Meet our first Equal Access Scholars

Thanks to philanthropic support and the University’s mission to offer opportunity through education, the Equal Access Scholarships have changed the lives of three asylum seekers, and promise to do the same for five more next academic year.

People like you, in partnership with the University, are continuing a longstanding tradition in York of giving refuge and a safe place to study to those escaping conflict. Thanks to your generosity, York has welcomed three new scholars this year under the Equal Access Scholarship scheme. This was set up by the University in response to Europe’s ongoing migrant crisis, to enable talented undergraduates with asylum-seeker status in the UK to receive full funding to undertake degrees at York.

The students we aim to help cannot apply for student loans. They have no other means of support and they have overcome unimaginable barriers to get to safety.

These Scholarships provide an annual living costs bursary of £10,660 and are matched by the University with a complete fee waiver. Donations of all sizes funded two students this September. Additionally, they are also enabling Dr Tamim Chelati, a Syrian refugee, to undertake a Research Fellowship at the Department of Chemistry. 

We are facing a major refugee crisis in Europe and the University of York will play its part in providing a safe and secure environment for displaced people to study, research and prosper.”

Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor and President

We are pleased to introduce two students who benefit from this extraordinary initiative:

This is an amazing opportunity for me. The scholarship is life-changing as it has given me an amazing opportunity to continue my education and pursue my dreams.”

Maryam Taher (MSc Biomedical Sciences), Equal Access Scholar

I was not able to complete my studies because of the war in my country. I believe economists will be the key to rebuilding my destroyed country and I want to play a part in that endeavour, to build a better future for Syria. This scholarship means so much to me, it means hope. It means a new beginning that will give me and others a better life.

Kawa Ramadan (Politics, Philosophy and Economics), Equal Access Scholar

From 2017 the University will increase its support and it has committed to a full fee waiver for up to five students who have claimed asylum in Britain. We already have funding in place to support the living costs of two students but would love to be able to help three more individuals; we are looking to raise £31,980 to give three more individuals the chance of a brighter future through education.

So today, 29 November, Giving Tuesday, we’d welcome your help in spreading the word about York’s Equal Access Fund. By clubbing together with gifts large or small we’ll be able to welcome more young people like Maryam and Kawa to York.