Scholarships for Asylum Seekers


This scholarship is designed for asylum seekers who have been living in Australia for a minimum of twelve months, have not undertaken any previous tertiary education in Australia and are suffering social and financial disadvantage.


New students who:

  • were born overseas
  • have resided in Australia for at least one year
  • have a temporary protection visa or a Bridging Visa E with study rights
  • do not hold a qualification from an Australian university
  • are not enrolled at an Australian university


Any undergraduate degree at Western Sydney University or diploma (including Extended Diploma or Foundation Studies) at Western Sydney University The College


The scholarship may include one or more of the following:

  • the relevant course tuition fees, which are not less than the minimum international tuition fees for an undergraduate course;
  • the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF); and
  • a bursary amount of up to $2,000 for books and other mandatory course materials.


The scholarship is intended for the duration of the student's degree unless Visa status changes; resulting in a review of benefits.


Applicants must:

  • Have completed the NSW Higher School Certificate or an equivalent school qualification;
  • Have studied English as a Second Language (2 unit) to attain a NSW Higher School Certificate (if applicable);
  • Demonstrate prior work experience and or education qualifications, if a non-current school leaver;
  • Have received a full offer of admission into a Western Sydney University (or Western Sydney University The College) by the time the scholarship application is considered (25 January each year);
  • Have leave (if housed in a facility) to attend the University and be able to complete the course during the period remaining on their visa;
  • Proficiency in English (minimum IELTS of 6.5) or agree to undertake:
    • the Western Sydney University The College's Academic English for Tertiary Studies course;
    • a TAFE Certificate IV in English for Academic Purposes;
    • or an English course offered by another provider who will  meet the cost of the course;
  • Be experiencing financial hardship;
  • Be able to demonstrate social or other disadvantage and able to provide details of asylum seeker or refugee background;
  • Provide a personal statement, relevant to the scholarship applications which covers the following points:
    • Clear commitment to learning and study;
    • Demonstrated academic ability;
    • Good citizenship;
    • What the applicant would like to achieve through study at Western Sydney University and by receiving a scholarship.
  • Provide a personal reference, relevant to the scholarship application, from a referee who has been known by the applicant for at least 12 months. A referee statement should comment on the applicant's:
    • Clear commitment to learning and study;
    • Suitability for university study and a scholarship;
    • Demonstrated academic ability;
    • Good citizenship.

Applicants who are non-current school leavers will be considered on the basis of work experience and/or educational qualifications.

All applicants need to indicate that if awarded the scholarship they would be willing to attend a Scholarships for Asylum Seekers Orientation session.

Application and Selection Process

Selection will be determined having regard to a referee's statement, the applicant's personal statement, their educational documents or a statutory declaration as to their educational history and financial circumstances, their visa notification letter, and their interview performance, if any.

The scholarship does not apply to cross-institutional study at another institution unless the units are required for the recipient's course and are not offered by the University.

If any of the specified conditions are not met or the recipient's circumstances change, the continuation of the scholarship will be reassessed.

Each year Western offers a limited number of Asylum Seeker Scholarships. Submitting an application and meeting the eligibility criteria will not guarantee offer of a scholarship. Should you require assistance in completing your application please email or contact 02 9852 5501.

Applications for this scholarship are open until 16 January 2022.

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