Pathways to University for students from refugee backgrounds

From campus visits and open days to scholarships and a commitment to equity, the University of Auckland welcomes students from refugee backgrounds.

Nau mai haere mai – welcome

We are thrilled that you are considering to study at the University of Auckland. There are more than 800 students from refugee backgrounds currently enrolled here and even more who have successfully completed their studies.

Since 2012, the Equity Office Te Ara Tautika has worked with SRBs to provide appropriate support during their studies. If you have any questions or concerns during your time here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Equity Office.

How the Equity Office and the University supports students from refugee backgrounds

Undergraduate Targeted Admission Schemes (UTAS)

The University has Undergraduate Targeted Admission Schemes (UTAS) for applicants from some equity groups, including students from refugee backgrounds. UTAS reserves a number of places in undergraduate programmes for applicants who have met the University Entrance (UE) standard but have not met the guaranteed entry score for the programme of their choice. 
See Undergraduate Targeted Admission Schemes

Tertiary Foundation Certificate Programme

Do you want to study at university but lack confidence or feel unprepared ? Did you leave school early, or has it been some time since you last did any study? Do you lack the grades needed for entry to university? Then TFC is the way to go.
Find out more about the Tertiary Foundation Certificate

New Start

The New Start programme is the University of Auckland's only part-time academic preparation and bridging course. It is aimed at those aged 20 and over.
See New Start programme.


Campus visits

Student for refugee background campus visits - where high school students can spend the day learning about the University and student life. NB In 2020, Covid-19 lockdowns prevented these from occurring. See campus visits.

Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies

The Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies aims to respond to contemporary challenges of conflict and climate-induced displacement. We are driven by a transformative agenda that places social justice and human rights as core aspects of our work that will empower refugee voices and build local capacities. Through a commitment to multidisciplinary scholarship, the Centre is committed to bringing together people from academia, refugee communities, government, civil society and the private sector to collaboratively work on meaningful and tangible projects on current and future forced displacement situations. 

See Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies.

Student Disability Services

If you have a visible or invisible disability, including mental illness, Student Disability Services can help. Visit them before you start University to see what support you may be eligible for. Students say University has been transformed by support from Student Disability Services.
Find out more and make an appointment at Student Disability Services.

External organisations

Useful links:

The University of Auckland’s Equity Policy includes students and staff from refugee backgrounds as an equity group.

Support available during your time at University