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Project information

The Bursaries Fund

To help professionals in exile convert their qualifications to UK standards in order to be able to resume their interrupted careers after suffering persecution in their home countries due to their conscientious and courageous stance against oppression.

August 2018 - July 2019

Charity information: Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund

Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund logo
  • Need


    Many prisoners of conscience in exile are highly qualified professionals, but are not able to access employment in the UK because their qualifications are not recognised by UK professional bodies.


    To make financially possible the undertaking of a course of re-qualification or study of which the result is a substantive qualification of the kind required for commensurate employment in the UK. By commensurate, we mean commensurate with the overseas experience and qualifications of the prisoner of conscience concerned, whether scientist, engineer, doctor, lawyer etc.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help up to 15 prisoners of conscience convert their qualifications to UK standards.


    » To raise £60,000 for the Bursaries Fund.
    » To invite applications to the Bursaries Fund and prioritise applications according to our remit.
    » To distribute the £60,000 in grants to eligible applicants.

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by the number of applicants to whom we are able to award bursaries.

  • Impact


    Long term changes will be seen in our beneficaries' ability to fulfil their potential and contribute more quickly to the economic, social and cultural life of the UK. With the help of a bursary grant, they will be able to fully get back on their feet and resume their careers in exile, supporting both themselves and their families.


    The risks relate solely to the amount of funding available for this project and the demand to which we will be subjected.


    With the bursary holder's permission, we will give details of their case history and proposed course of study along with any relevant progress reports and successful outcomes. We normally have an annual event where donors to the Bursaries Fund have the opportunity to meet bursary holders.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £60,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £55,000 Bursary grants Postgraduate course fees
      £5,000 Support costs Living and support costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Restricted funds £4,518 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Bursaries Fund helps prisoners of conscience in exile in the UK.


    Prisoners of conscience and their families who may be resident anywhere in the UK. Those in a position to take up a bursary have already shown great resolve and courage in rebuilding their lives thus far. With the help of a bursary, they are able to resume their careers and create a more stable future for themselves and their families.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since the inception of the scheme in 2001, £800,000 has been awarded to 171 bursary holders. These grants have enabled them to gain qualifications in an eclectic range of subjects from peace studies and law to the latest treatments for malaria. Past grant recipients have included human rights defenders, lawyers, environmental activists, teachers and academics from many different countries.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Board Of Trustees

    A sub-committee of PoC trustees assess and award successful bursaries annually after initial assessment and selection by the office.

    PoC Staff

    Our small, long-serving and experienced team of one full-time Director and two part-time staff run the project.

    Our Referral Agencies

    We receive applications for our Bursaries Fund via approved referral agencies who are in contact with eligible prisoners of conscience.

Baroness Helena Kennedy at Bursary event

What I have gained will allow me to join hands with others to assist more prisoners of conscience in need of support.

Bursary grant recipient