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Our Just Fair North East manager, alongside colleagues from Asylum Matters, and City of Sanctuary has written to universities across the North East asking for them to provide support to Sanctuary Scholarship students.

The letter is as follows:

We are writing to you as a provider of Sanctuary Scholarships to consider the impact of recent decisions on any asylum seekers currently studying at your university.

During this challenging time, you have been called to halt face-to-face learning and move to online platforms – a necessary step to curb the spread of COVID-19. Whilst most of your students will manage this, those studying through Sanctuary Scholarships may not be able to access these platforms.

As you may know, asylum seekers are only provided £37.75 by the government per week for all living costs. Access to home internet is a luxury that many cannot afford. They also cannot be expected to rely on phone data as this can be unreliable and expensive. Library and support service closures are having a direct impact on Sanctuary Scholars ability to study. Access to education is a fundamental human right that must not be neglected, especially for your most vulnerable students during this health crisis.

Having spoken to a Sanctuary Scholar in the North East who is experiencing these difficulties, we ask that you take urgent action to cover the cost of internet for any Sanctuary Scholarship students to enable them to work from home during this pandemic and to create an environment where they can succeed in their studies.

Kind regards,

Anya Bonner (North East Regional Manager, Just Fair)

Jennifer Laws (Campaigns Project Manager, Asylum Matters)

Sam Slatcher (North East Regional Coordinator, City of Sanctuary)