A project of the Helena Kennedy Foundation, Article 26 takes its name from the Declaration of Human Rights which states that everyone has the right to education and that higher education should be accessible on the basis of merit.
With this in mind the Manchester-based project supports asylum seekers wishing to pursue higher education courses. This is necessary because whilst their applications are assessed by the Home Office they are unable to access student finance. As asylum seekers they are also unable to work or access many benefits and yet must cover not just their living costs but overseas student tuition fees which are significantly higher than those capped at £9,000 for UK students.
Article 26 provides support and guidance to universities to assist them in creating packages of support for those seeking refuge, typically a waiver of fees and small bursaries to help those seeking refuge. Among institutions the project has partnered are The University of Manchester and the University of Salford both of which provide full tuition fee bursaries.
Maral Esfahani, who fled Iran, secured an honours degree from the University of Manchester: “Without Article 26 I don’t think I would have been able to go to university that year. It means everything to me that I got the chance to be educated. It’s something I always wanted and has helped me gain so many skills which I can use to find jobs and build my future.”
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