Doing a course can boost well-being, motivation, purpose, self-esteem and general health.
We do not pay course fees, although we might consider help with exam fees on an individual basis.
The picture at local colleges and universities is very mixed and constantly changing. Most courses for key skills in English and Maths are free to those on Universal Credit, which of course those seeking asylum do not receive.
Every year lots of hopeful people go for assessments at City College, because of its convenient location, and don’t realise till just before the course starts that they’re going to be charged £800, by which time it’s often too late to get a place at somewhere like CLEAR.
We have been more successful with Itchen College, who run English classes not only at the college but also in the town centre, which makes it more accessible.
Some colleges offer asylum seekers places on other courses, such as Eastleigh College who run a course on Skills for Living in the UK.
The WEA provides a wide range of free courses, online as well as classroom based, basic skills as well as vocationally oriented.
Local universities are in the process of becoming Universities of Sanctuary and are offering Sanctuary Scholarships, though what is included in the scholarship varies. The Open University also offers a variety of free courses, which is a great advantage because students can be moved to other parts of the country at short notice.
People who are interested should be encouraged to investigate in detail what is available to them before they discuss their options with their visitor or teacher. The Desk Team will signpost to further advice and support from SWVG.
Claudia Glyn 17/09/2023
Last Updated: 06/12/2023 – Next Update Due: