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The Compass Project

The Compass Project at Birkbeck reaches out to help refugees and asylum seeking communities access educational opportunities in the UK. We provide information, advice and guidance to those wanting to enter higher education and we are offering 20 asylum seekers in the UK an opportunity to study at university through a sanctuary scholarship. 

At Birkbeck, we have a proud tradition of changing lives through university study. Our students come from all over the world and are from a wide range of educational backgrounds. We particularly encourage and specialise in applications from people who may have had a break in their education, of any length, or who have never had the opportunity to study at university.

What is the Compass Project?

  • The Compass Project at Birkbeck is an award-winning scheme committed to improving access to higher education for those who have sought sanctuary in the UK.
  • The project incorporates the following features:
    • Birkbeck provides 20 forced migrants, who are not eligible for student finance, with a sanctuary scholarship to study for a university qualification through the Compass Project Fund.
    • A series of workshops and events, designed to provide people in refugee and asylum seeking communities with the knowledge and skills to start their academic journey. We advise on the level of skill and preparation needed to apply and study at university, giving clear guidance on the best study options.
    • We work closely with colleagues outside of Birkbeck who support and help individuals access educational opportunities, to ensure university is accessible for all who seek to learn.
    • We strive to be a strong voice and critical friend to the wider education sector in promoting and supporting routes into learning for forced migrant communities, and sharing the benefits this brings to all. 

Free workshops and events

  • We offer a series of events throughout the year, designed to support and inspire people to learn and explore university study. All of the workshops are open to those who have sought sanctuary in the UK, which includes: 
    • refugees
    • asylum seekers
    • victims of trafficking
    • those with humanitarian protection
    • Discretionary Leave to Remain (DLR) 
    • Limited Leave to Remain (LLR).
  • Birkbeck offers a wide range of free activities and workshops to support prospective students with their application to university, which are open to anyone considering study.
  • Please note: attendance at these activities is especially important for those who are looking to apply for the Compass Project Fund, as you will need to demonstrate a commitment to study.

Want to find out more?

Working with community organisations