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 will need to demonstrate a good level of English language skills (eg mock test results, personal statement, certified English exams). For clarification of what this includes, please contact us
    • 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 (ARC) confirming your immigration status. 

How to apply

Step One: Contact us

  • Before making your application to Birkbeck, we ask that you contact us in order to receive an application form. Please complete the enquiry form, and we will get back to you within three days, to:
    • talk to you about the journey of undertaking study at Birkbeck and what support there is
    • provide advice about finding the right course and level of study for you
    • answer your questions.
  • 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).

Step two: Apply for your course 

  • If you applying for a course as part of the Compass Project Fund, you should apply directly to Birkbeck and not through UCAS (as is usually the case for some university courses). If you are applying for the Compass Project Fund, you will not need to meet the 15 January deadline set by UCAS.
  • Following the Compass Project Taster Day, you will be asked to complete a short form detailing the course that you would like to study and a short paragraph explaining why. 
  • You will then be given tailored advice on how to apply for the course you are interested in. 

Step three: Apply 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 the support you will receive to help 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 1 July at 23.59. 
  • Applicants must either attend a Birkbeck workshop or contact us to receive an application form. 

The Compass Project Outreach programme

As part of The Compass Project, Birkbeck is 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 would like to know more about the Compass Project, or have any further questions on the fund and applying to Birkbeck, please contact us