The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022

Double your donation and support young refugees and asylum seekers to access higher education

The Big Give Christmas Challenge 

We’re taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge this December to raise money to launch our new project The Sanctuary Scholars Programme, which will support young refugee and asylum seeker Scholars to access higher education. 

From Tuesday 29th November until Tuesday 6th December at midday, all donations made through The Big Give website will be doubled, thanks to match funding from our supporters.

The Sanctuary Scholars Programme

In the UK, 1 in 3 of the most advantaged young people progress to the most competitive universities, compared to just 1 in 33 of the least advantaged.

Young refugees and asylum seekers often face complex barriers in accessing higher education. According to Office for Students, only 1% of displaced people are in higher education in the UK.

The Sanctuary Scholars Programme is a condensed version of our longest running programme, The Scholars Programme, which supports students to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to progress to the most competitive universities. Students will also receive tailored information about Sanctuary Scholarships, which are available to students from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds at universities throughout the country.

You can find out more about The Sanctuary Scholars Programme via the FAQs below.

We need your help!

To launch The Sanctuary Scholars Programme and enable 40 young refugees and asylum seekers to take part, we need to meet our target of £8,000. 

All donations made during The Big Give week will be matched by our Big Give Champion The Reed Foundation, as well as our other generous supporters. To donate and instantly double the impact of your donation for refugees and asylum seekers click here 

Anything you’re able to donate is much appreciated, and will help us to empower Scholars, wherever they come from, through education.

The Sanctuary Scholars Programme: FAQs

Who will the programme support?

The Sanctuary Scholars Programme will support young refugees and asylum seekers age 14-16 to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to access the most competitive universities.

We have over ten years of experience working with young people from various backgrounds to access higher education. We believe that we are well-placed to support young refugees and asylum seekers to experience university-style learning and to access universities.

We believe that all young people should be able to access the most competitive universities, regardless of background. The research suggests thatEducation restores feelings of security, hope and dignity, and supports people who have experienced forced migration to overcome hardships and achieve greater psychosocial well-being’ (Lenette, C. 2016 1-5).

What will they do on the programme?

The Sanctuary Scholars Programme will be a condensed version of our flagship Scholars Programme, tailored to the needs of young refugees and asylum seekers.

Over the five week programme, students will work with a PhD tutor to get a taste of the range of subjects that they could study at university. They will develop the key skills, knowledge and confidence that they need to access higher education. They will be supported to write a challenging final assignment, will receive feedback from their PhD tutor and will be awarded a university-style grade.

Students will also have the opportunity to visit competitive universities, tour the campus and learn about the support that is available to them at universities all over the UK, including how to access Sanctuary Scholarships.

How do you know it works?

The Brilliant Club has over ten years’ experience of supporting young people from less advantaged backgrounds progress to the most competitive universities. Our Scholars Programme has proven impact. For six consecutive years, independent evaluation with UCAS has found that students who complete The Scholars Programme are significantly more likely to apply and progress to a competitive university than students from similar backgrounds (56% vs. 37% in 2021).

An evaluation with the University of Cambridge, including a randomised control trial (RCT), confirmed that The Scholars Programme has a significant impact on students’ self-confidence in their ability to study and succeed at university.

With this expertise, we believe we are well placed to support young refugees and asylum seekers to develop the skills and knowledge needed to access higher education in the UK. Through our partner universities we can in addition support them to access funding through Sanctuary Scholarships, further supporting them to enter higher education.