The Compass Project Fund

The Compass Project Fund will provide 20 asylum seekers, who are not eligible for student finance, with a scholarship to study a university-level programme at Birkbeck, University of London.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • full tuition fee waiver for relevant courses
  • additional financial support to cover costs such as transport, childcare and books


Relevant courses

Eligibility criteria

  • You must meet one of the following criteria:
    • have made a claim for asylum in the UK and not yet had a decision (asylum seekers)
    • have been granted temporary status as a result of an asylum claim (this includes DLR/LLR/Humanitarian Protection)
    • currently appealing an asylum decision and can evidence making a fresh claim
    • be a spouse/civil partner of a person meeting these criteria (must have been the spouse or civil partner of the applicant on the date of asylum application)
    • be a child of a person meeting these criteria (must have been under 18 years old and the child of the applicant or their spouse/civil partner at the time of asylum application).
  • You must also meet all of the following criteria:
    • You must be resident in the UK.
    • You must be ineligible to receive student finance (find out more about eligibility requirements for student finance).
    • You must have an offer of admission to pursue an eligible course at Birkbeck before applying for the fund (see below).
    • You will need to provide documentation to confirm your immigration status in the UK, such as:
      • a letter from the UK government confirming your current immigration status
      • an ID card confirming your immigration status.

How to apply

Step 1: Applying for your course at Birkbeck      

  • Before making your application to Birkbeck, you need to attend a minimum of one 'Preparing for Study' workshop, where we will:  
    • assess your English language skills
    • talk to you about the journey of undertaking study at Birkbeck and what support there is
    • provide advice about what is the right course and level of study
    • answer your questions
    • assess whether you would be successful on a Birkbeck course. 
  • If we conclude that you would be successful on a Birkbeck course, we will guide you through the process of securing a place on your desired course or module (from among those supported by the Compass Project). 
  • Please note: if you are unable to attend either of these workshops, please
  • If you gain a place on the course or module, you may then apply for the Compass Project Fund. (Please note: offers of admission and decisions on whether to accept you for study will be made by the relevant admissions tutors, not by the Compass Project.)

Step 2: Applying for The Compass Project Fund 

  • If you have been offered a place on your chosen Birkbeck course, you will be invited to apply to the Compass Project Fund. We will email you with:
    • the relevant forms for you to complete
    • guidance on what should be included in your application
    • information on our 1:1 drop-in service to support you with your application.
  • Please read our application guidelines for more information.


  • You will need to send your completed application for the Compass Project Fund to us by Sunday 16 July at 11.59pm. Applicants must attend a preparing for study workshop or contact to receive an application form.

The Compass Project Outreach programme

As part of The Compass Project, Birkbeck are committed to ensuring that individuals in the refugee and asylum seeking communities are given the right guidance and support to accessing higher education. The Compass Project Outreach programme is available to all students who have sought sanctuary in the UK, irrespective of whether you are applying for the Compass Project Fund.

Contact us

If you need help with your application, or advice on documentation, .