New scholarship for a refugee student

Friday 16 September

Balliol students on matriculation day (photo: Rob Judges)Balliol College is pleased to call for applications for its new Balliol Students’ Scholarship from refugees wishing to study for an undergraduate degree commencing in October 2017. The scholarship is available to any student with current refugee status or a pending claim to asylum, whether in the UK, Europe or elsewhere. It covers full tuition, College fees and living costs, and aims to provide a talented student with the opportunity to study for a degree without disruption, so that they can achieve their full academic potential. There are further details about the scholarship and how to apply here.

The scholarship was established by the Balliol JCR and MCR, which both unanimously passed motions to create an opt-out levy of £4.00 a term per person to raise money for it. The student donations have been matched by the generous support of alumni, the College and the University. In setting up the project the students have been advised by Stacy Toupouzova, an Oxford DPhil student in Refugee Law and co-founder of the Sofia Refugee Centre in Bulgaria, who will help administer the applications. The application process will operate in partnership with the Oxford Students’ Refugee Campaign, who will collaborate on outreach and provision of information so that students applying to either scheme will receive the same support.

The JCR President, Annie Williamson, says: ‘Education is a fundamental tool to empowerment, but higher education opportunities are snatched away from refugees, who face great uncertainty about whether they can ever return to study - even the most able students. There are currently over 20 million refugees worldwide, and Balliol JCR and MCR have responded to this crisis in the small way that we can, by establishing the Balliol Student Scholarship.’

Balliol has a proud history of being open to all on merit, supporting students in need and welcoming refugees, notably in the case of Jewish refugees prior to and during the Second World War. It is delighted that another chapter has been added to that history through this initiative, led by students but involving the whole Balliol community.