Supporting refugees and asylum seekers

As a City of Sanctuary, Sheffield has a history of providing a welcome and hospitality for refugees and asylum seekers.

We're proud to be part of this in our role as a University of Sanctuary.

Events and highlights


Inspirational academics

Tim Herrick is a Senior University Teacher in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield. Tim is a Senate Award Fellow and a CILASS Fellow.

Here he talks about his inspiration for teaching and his work with people from asylum seeker backgrounds.


Edmund de WaalFetched Home by Edmund de Waal

Award-winning artist, writer and Sheffield alumnus Edward de Waal has gifted the University a piece of art in response to our work to welcome staff and students from around the world, including those seeking refuge and asylum.

Watch on YouTube

An interview with Edmund de Waal

In this feature on Edmund de Waal we learn about Edmund de Waal's family history and his practice as an artist and a writer. You can also watch his lecture: On the eve of departure: homelessness, exile and art.


Migrants in the cityMigrants in the City conference on iTunes U

Rapid urbanisation is radically changing the economic, financial, social, and ecological landscape of our planet. It has been identified as the single greatest development challenge and opportunity for the 21st century.

International migration has been, is and will continue to be a key route both shaping and being shaped by urbanisation.

This international conference provides a forum for the examination of key questions related to contemporary international migration in the context of urban development, residential segregation and diversity.



What our staff and students are already doing


From Somalia to Sheffield: Abdi's story

Abdi-Aziz Suleiman came to the UK and to Sheffield as a child as an asylum seeker from Somalia. As President of our Students' Union he co-founded our #WeAreInternational campaign with the Vice-Chancellor.

Why I'm proud to be a 'bad migrant'

Abdi reflects on society’s idea of a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ migrant and why we shouldn’t allow anyone to convince us not to have empathy. Posted on the New Statesman.

Sheffield skylineA PLACE OF SANCTUARY

Sheffield – a city and university of sanctuary

As a City of Sanctuary, Sheffield has a history of providing a welcome and hospitality for refugees and asylum seekers. We're proud to be part of this in our role as a University of Sanctuary.

We have staff, students and alumni who were refugees and our academic staff work with refugees in the city. We're associated with Cara, an organisation that helps academics in immediate danger, those forced into exile, and many who choose to remain in their home countries despite the serious risks they face.

Campaigns and support for students

Campaigns and support for students


We are international

We launched our We are international campaign to ensure that the contribution of international students to our economy and culture is recognised.


Support for asylum seekers

We're committed to supporting students who have sought asylum in the UK through scholarships, services and a dedicated asylum seeker contact.

Asylum Seeker Scholarships

These scholarships will be available for students studying undergraduate degrees or postgraduate masters courses. Our aim is to support students under the government’s resettlement programme or who are recent arrivals in the UK.

Projects and charities

Projects and charities

British Red Cross refugee support in Yorkshire
A global voluntary network, helping people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are.

Calais People to People Solidarity – Action From Sheffield (Facebook)
Two Sheffielders collecting for a van run to Calais.

City of Sanctuary Sheffield
Welcoming and supporting refugees and asylum-seekers to the city. We're proud to be part of this in our role as a University of Sanctuary.

Project Paddington - Facebook and Twitter
A Sheffield project set up to mobilise children to send a teddy, a drawing of themselves and a short note to a refugee child.

Sheffield Association for the Voluntary Teaching of English
Recruits and trains volunteers to teach English and give people life-changing language skills.

Sheffield Conversation Club
Sheffield Conversation Club is looking for volunteers to help make asylum seekers, refugees and occasionally other migrants feel at home and learn about British life and culture.

Sheffield Help Yourself directory
A list of Sheffield projects or places relevant to Asylum Seekers.

Sheffield Raising and Giving (RAG) fundraising appeal
RAG is co-ordinating money collections from University staff and students.

Sheffield Student Action for Refugees
Raising awareness about refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and worldwide.

South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group
Group of many nationalities and political viewpoints acting together for asylum and migrant rights.

ERE National projects and charities

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders
Gives emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics or disasters.

Migrant Offshore Aid Station
Helps people who find themselves in distress while crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

Find out more