NHS Bursaries: Increasing Access To Higher Education For .

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NHS Bursaries: Increasing access to Higher Education forasylum seekers and those with Limited Leave to RemainFebruary 20151. Introduction to the authorsRefugee Support Network (RSN)Refugee Support Network exists to enable young people affected by displacementand crisis to access, remain and progress in education at multiple stages in themigration journey. RSN’s Higher Education programme is specifically designed tosupport young asylum seekers, refugees and survivors of trafficking who are facingparticular barriers in accessing university. Through face-to-face support work,schools-based workshops, its ‘Thinking Ahead to Higher Education’ toolkit, and anational advice line, RSN enables young people to understand their eligibility forHigher Education and financial support and equips them to make appropriate plansfor their educational progression.RSN’s toolkit and advice line are complemented by a bespoke training packagewhich enables teachers, social workers, and university staff to understand the issuessurrounding access to Higher Education for young people from asylum-seekingbackgrounds and to support this group of young people more effectively. This year,RSN is also assisting the Schwab-Westheimer Charitable Trust to develop ascholarship package which will provide funding assistance for a limited numberof young people from asylum-seeking backgrounds who do not have access toStudent Finance but have been offered or hold a place in a UK university to studysocial care, medicine, nursing, or related healthcare subjectsArticle 26Article 26 is a project of the Helena Kennedy Foundation and takes its name fromthe Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right toeducation and specifies that Higher Education should be accessible on the basis ofmerit. Article 26 was developed to meet the needs of students from an asylumseeking background who are ineligible for student finance or any other source offunding to meet the cost of Higher Education, as well as universities prepared toprovide opportunities on degree programmes for these students.

2The project coordinates a network, which offers support and guidance to universitiesto create bursaries for students who have sought asylum and thus enable them toaccess Higher Education. A bursary typically includes a full tuition-fee waiver andfunding to help meet the cost of books and travel. The model of support designedby Article 26 was pioneered by the project over a period of four years, before Article26 began to support universities to establish their own ‘in house’ schemes.‘Education for All’ is the project’s comprehensive guide to support universities todeliver bursary schemes for students who have sought asylum. Article 26 currentlyworks with 17 universities across England, and has supported 73 students to enterand thrive in Higher Education. Detailed information on student bursaries, anextensive set of resources (including ‘Education for All’), the history and everythingelse project related can be found at: article26.hkf.org.uk (no WWW required).2. Executive summaryThe information contained in this briefing focuses specifically on access to NHSdegree programmes for students who have sought asylum in the UK. In addition tobeing denied access to Student Finance for university tuition fees and maintenanceloans, NHS Bursaries are also currently unavailable for these students. Article 26 andRSN (Refugee Support Network) have produced some excellent resources, whichsupport the information presented in this briefing. We recommend that this briefingbe read in conjunction with these resources. The four key documents referred to are:'Thinking Ahead to Higher Education', Refugee Support Network'I Just Want to Study', Refugee Support Network'Education for All', Article 26'Establishing a legal basis for Article 26', Article 26This briefing outlines the different rights and entitlements for people with RefugeeStatus, those with temporary status (typically granted an award of Limited Leave toRemain) and asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their application for status,specifically in relation to the feasibility of their studying on an NHS degreeprogramme. The challenges are presented, legal issues are clarified, and tangiblesolutions are outlined. The briefing concludes with a proposal for potential ‘nextsteps’ to widen access to NHS degree programmes for prospective students from anasylum-seeking background.

33. Glossary of termsAsylum seekerA person who has left their country of origin and formallyapplied for asylum in another country but whose applicationhas not yet been concluded. An asylum seeker may bewaiting for a decision on an initial claim or in the process ofappealing a decision on a claim for asylum.Asylum seekers are not illegal immigrants.For more information and statistics about asylum seekers andthe asylum process, see the Refugee Council’s 'Truth aboutAsylum' page.UASCUnaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child who came to the UK asa minor and claimed asylum in their own right. UASCs arelooked after by their local authority.HumanitarianProtectionHumanitarian Protection is granted to people who, if removedto their country of origin, would face persecution orpunishment due to a cause not listed under the 1951 UNConvention on the Rights of Refugees. For example, gender isnot covered in the convention, but women in some countriesare expected to undergo female circumcision.Humanitarian Protection is sometimes awarded to people whoface punishment for a crime that the UK does not recognise assuch (for example homosexuality or adultery). It is alsosometimes awarded to people who are facing a punishmentout of proportion to the crime they have committed (forexample, mutilation for theft).Humanitarian Protection now comes with 5 years LimitedLeave to Remain. After this period, people with HumanitarianProtection can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.Limited Leave toRemain(without RefugeeStatus orHumanitarianProtection)This status was previously known as Discretionary Leave toRemain (DLR)Limited Leave toremain for UASCSeparated children who are refused asylum (i.e. refugeestatus) or Humanitarian Protection in the UK may be grantedthis status by the Home Office if there are ‘no adequatereception arrangements’ in the country to which they wouldbe returned.DLR/Limited Leave to Remain was created to give permissionfor applicants (sometimes asylum seekers, sometimes not) withunique cases to remain in the UK for a limited period of time.

4Until April 2013, this type of leave was referred to as‘discretionary leave’ and was granted outside the ImmigrationRules. On 6 April 2013, new Immigration Rules came into forcewhich incorporated the Home Office policy of granting leaveto unaccompanied asylum-seeking children into theImmigration Rules.For more information about Limited Leave for UASC, click here.As UASC approach their 18th birthday, they can apply for anextension of this leave. While their application for extension ispending, their associated rights and entitlements continue toapply.Refugee StatusThe 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status ofRefugees describes a refugee as:“A person who owing to a well-founded fear of beingpersecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality,membership of a particular social group or political opinion, isoutside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing tosuch fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of thatcountry; or who, not having a nationality and being outsidethe country of his former habitual residence as a result of suchevents, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return toit.”In the UK, a person is officially a refugee when they have theirclaim for asylum accepted by the government. When theirclaim is accepted, they are given ‘Refugee Status’.Refugee Status now comes with 5 years Limited Leave toRemain. After this period, people with Refugee Status canapply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.Refused asylumseekerA person whose asylum application has been unsuccessfuland who has no other claim for protection awaiting adecision. Some refused asylum seekers are able to put in afresh claim for asylum with new evidence, some voluntarilyreturn home, others are forcibly returned and for some it is notsafe or practical for them to return until conditions in theircountry change.

5http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/policy research/the truth about asylum/facts about asylum - page 14. The needArticle 26 and RSN have both received a significant number of enquiries fromstudents wishing to undertake NHS degree courses. There is ample opportunity forthese students to successfully complete NHS degrees and thrive in the workplace ifcurrent barriers can be overcome. These barriers include: ensuring the right to studyand, because of the professional practice nature of NHS courses, the right to workupon graduation; enabling access to financial support for tuition, accommodation,and subsistence, as well as costs unique to NHS placements e.g. uniform and travelwhilst on placement.An analysis of Article 26 email enquiries at the end of 2012, revealed that 20% ofemail enquiries to Article 26 related to NHS degree programmes. As well as enquiriesfrom students, RSN and Article 26 have received enquiries from universities askingwhether they are at liberty to widen access to NHS degree programmes to studentswith LLR (limited leave to remain) or people still seeking asylum through fee waiversand bursaries. The July 2014 annual Article 26 conference raised access to NHSdegree programmes as a key issue that our universities partners wanted the projectto pursue, and the issue has also arisen frequently in RSN’s training sessions withinuniversities.This demonstrates a commitment and a willingness from universities to widen accessto NHS courses in the same way that they have overcome barriers to enablestudents from an asylum seeking background without access to student finance, toaccess degree courses in other subject areas.

65. What are NHS Bursaries and why do they exist?‘In 1968 Parliament gave the Secretary ofState for Health the power to providetraining for people considering employmentin the National Health Service (NHS), and topay allowances to people who haveaccepted places on these courses. Theseallowances are known as NHS Bursaries’1 andapply to courses qualifying students forcertain professions (see Professions withtraining funded by NHS Bursaries).Students wishing to undertake these coursesapply for an NHS bursary instead of StudentFinance. NHS Bursaries are awarded tostudents who fulfil seven eligibilityrequirements. The most notablerequirements for the purpose of this briefingare that the student:Professions with training funded by NHSBursaries: Chiropodist or Podiatrist Dental Hygienist/Dental Therapist Dentist (partial bursary) Dietician Doctor (partial bursary) Midwife Nurse Occupational Therapist Operating Department Practitioner Orthotist/Prosthetist Orthoptist Physiotherapist Radiographer Radiotherapist Speech and Language Therapist‘(a) is a pre-registration student of one of the healthcare professions listed [above]who has not previously been registered in that healthcare profession; (b) satisfies thegeneral immigration and residence requirements set down by the Secretary of Statefor Health in paragraph 2.2 [ ]; and (c) satisfies, in the case of students of medicineor dentistry, the particular residence requirement at paragraph 2.4 ’2Asylum seekers and people with Limited Leave to Remain (LLR) are not included onthe list of eligible students for NHS Bursaries. No NHS Bursary support is available toasylum seekers or students with LLR who wish to undertake NHS degree courses.These courses are open to international students, but bursaries are not available forprospective students. There are no restrictions on the right to study, but asylumseekers and students with LLR will be required to pay tuition fees at the internationalrate.It is important to note that when a university agrees to provide teaching for NHScourses, they enter into a contract with the NHS which can differ according to theindividual university. Under NHS contracts, a university takes on a certain quota of‘commissioned students’, namely those who are included in the main NHS-universitycontract. These are home students whose tuition fees are paid for by the NHS. Auniversity has the autonomy to both accept students outside of this contract, e.g.students assessed as eligible for international tuition fees, as well as to waiveuniversity tuition fees for these stem/uploads/attachment data/file/276460/nhs bursary scheme new rules ed3.pdf (i. loads/attachment data/file/276460/nhs bursary scheme new rules ed3.pdf (9)

76. ChallengesThe table below ‘Challenges to studying on an NHS degree programme’, sets outthe four key barriers to accessing an NHS degree programme and explains how theyare affected by different immigration status: Right to live & study in the UKRight to work in the UKTuition fee status & eligibility for financial supportRight to accommodation & subsistence

8Challenges to studying on an NHS degree programmeImmigrationStatusRight to live and study inthe UKRight to work in the UKRefugeeStatusPeople with RefugeeStatus have the right tolive and study in the UK.People with Refugee Statushave the have the right towork in the UK.People with Refugee Statusare entitled to StudentFinance and NHS Bursaries.Although RS and HP last5 years they areeffectively permanentstatus. After 5 yearspeople can apply forIndefinite Leave toRemain. Refugee Statusis irrevocable except inextreme circumstances.3HumanitarianProtection3People withHumanitarian Protectionhave the right to liveand study in the UK.Tuition fee status andeligibility for financialsupportPeople with Refugee Statusare charged home fees.(NB. Refugee Status nowcomes with 5 years LimitedLeave to Remain, instead ofIndefinite Leave to Remain.Therefore, an application toStudent Finance mayoccasionally – anderroneously – be refused.This decision should bechallenged.)People with HumanitarianProtection have the right towork in the UK.People with HumanitarianProtection are chargedhome fees.Accommodation andsubsistencePeople with Refugee Statusare entitled to maintenancesupport from StudentFinance.(NB. Refugee Status nowcomes with 5 years LimitedLeave to Remain, instead ofIndefinite Leave to Remain.Therefore, an application toStudent Finance mayoccasionally – anderroneously – be refused. Thisdecision should bechallenged.)People with HumanitarianProtection are entitled tomaintenance support fromStudent Finance once theyUnder the principle of non-refoulement, a refugee's right to be protected against forcible return, set out in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, Article33(1). Widely accepted as part of customary international law.

9People with HumanitarianProtection are entitled toStudent Finance and NHSbursaries once they havelived in the UK for 3 years.(NB Humanitarian Protectioncomes with 5 years LimitedLeave to Remain, notIndefinite Leave to Remain.Therefore an application toStudent Finance mayoccasionally – anderroneously – be refused.This decision should bechallenged.)LimitedLeave toRemain(withoutRefugeeStatus orHumanitarianProtection)and thosewith apendingapplicationfor anextension oftheir LimitedPeople with LimitedLeave to Remain(without Refugee Statusor HumanitarianProtection) have theright to live and study inthe UK.People with LLR (withoutRefugee Status orHumanitarian Protection)have the right to work in theUK.People with Limited Leaveto Remain (without RefugeeStatus or HumanitarianProtection) are chargedinternational fees.People with Limited Leaveto Remain are not entitledto Student Finance or NHSBursaries.Some people with LimitedLeave to Remain havebeen able to fund theirHigher Education throughuniversity fee-waiverhave lived in the UK for 3years.(NB Humanitarian Protectioncomes with 5 years LimitedLeave to Remain, notIndefinite Leave to Remain.Therefore an application toStudent Finance mayoccasionally – anderroneously – be refused. Thisdecision should bechallenged.)People with Limited Leave toRemain (without RefugeeStatus or HumanitarianProtection) are not entitled tomaintenance grants or loansfrom Student Finance tosupport their studies.

10Leave toRemain(LimitedLeave toRemain wasformerlyknown asDiscretionaryLeave toRemain.)Limited leavefor UASCLimitedLeave forUASC wasformerlyknown asDiscretionaryLeave toRemain.schemes/discretionarycategorisation as homestudents. For moreinformation aboutalternative ways of fundingHigher Education if a personis not eligible for homefees/Student Finance, seeCoram’s fact sheet.People with LimitedLeave for UASC havethe right to live andstudy in the UK.People with Limited Leave forUASC have the right to studyin the UK.People with Limited Leavefor UASC are chargedinternational fees.People with Limited Leavefor UASC are not entitled toStudent Finance or NHSBursaries.Some people with LimitedLeave for UASC have beenable to fund their HigherEducation through ation as homestudents. For moreinformation aboutalternative ways of fundingHigher Education if a personis not eligible for homePeople with Limited Leave forUASC are not entitled tomaintenance grants or loansfrom Student Finance tosupport their studies.The Local Authorityresponsible for an UASC mayhave a responsibility toprovide financial support fora young person during theirstudies.

11fees/Student Finance, seeCoram’s fact sheet.AsylumseekerAsylum seekers have theright to live and study inthe UK.Asylum seekers have the rightto undertake placements as‘trainees’.Asylum seekers do not havethe right to work in the UK. Ifthey are still waiting for adecision on their initial claimafter 12 months they canapply for the right to work.However they are onlyallowed into professions listedon the shortage list. Asylumseekers yet to enter anundergraduate degreeprogramme are unlikely to bequalified for any of theseprofessions.Depending on the specificcase, the Local Authorityresponsible for an UASCmay have a duty to supporta young person with theirtuition fees.Asylum seekers are chargedinternational fees.Asylum seekers are notentitled to Student Financeor NHS bursaries.Some asylum seekers havebeen able to fund theirHigher Education throughuniversity fee-waiverschemes/discretionarycategorisation as homestudents. For moreinformation aboutalternative ways of fundingHigher Education if a personis not eligible for homefees/Student Finance, seeCoram’s fact sheet.Asylum Seekers are notentitled to maintenancegrants or loans from StudentFinance to support theirstudies.Asylum seekers are unable towork and receive a minimalweekly allowance from thegovernment.Many asylum seekers rely onfamily and friends foraccommodation andsubsistence support.

i) Right to live & study in the UKIn addition to Article 26 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the right toeducation is a universal entitlement enshrined in Article 13 of the InternationalCovenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The obligation to provideequitable, preferably free access to Higher Education is included in paragraph 2(c):‘Higher Education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis ofcapacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by theprogressive introduction of free education;’4The UK ratified this Convention in 1976. The right to education is also recognised bythe UK in the Human Rights act 1998:‘No person shall be denied the right to education ’5As is the prohibition of discrimination against anyone in the protection of their rights:‘The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shallbe secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour,language, religion, p

allowances are known as NHS Bursaries’1 and apply to courses qualifying students for certain professions (see Professions with training funded by NHS Bursaries). Students wishing to undertake these courses apply for an NHS bursary instead of Student Finance. NHS Bursaries are award

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