College of Sanctuary

City of Sanctuary logo

Hopwood Hall College & University Centre is a safe and supportive sanctuary.

Hopwood Hall College and University Centre supports the ‘City of Sanctuary’ vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all, offering sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution.

Our Ethos, Values and Mission are at the heart of everything we do.

College Vision and Values

At Hopwood Hall, we provide a safe and inclusive place for all – ensuring that everyone is given the support and encouragement needed to achieve their goals.

Our values reflect the importance that we place on developing a caring and nurturing environment in which we expect the highest standards of work, behaviour and commitment from our students and staff.

What is a College of Sanctuary?

A College of Sanctuary is an institution that goes above and beyond to support refugees and people seeking asylum. It helps to raise awareness about migration and the reasons people seek safety among students, staff, and the wider community. Hopwood Hall College and University Centre is proud to be an inclusive college. As a leading provider for ESOL students (English for Speakers of Other Languages), including refugees and asylum seekers, we are committed to supporting our diverse community.

  • We work to ensure our staff are effectively equipped and trained to understand and meet the needs of students from all backgrounds and understand how we can foster a culture where everyone feels safe, a sense of belonging and that they can succeed.
  • We seek to identify and overcome barriers to educational access and progression for students seeking sanctuary.
  • We centre the voices of students with lived experience of (forced) migration to learn how we can improve our practice and provision and enable them to lead sanctuary related activities, where relevant.
  • We raise awareness about the experiences of people seeking sanctuary with everyone in our college community, challenging misconceptions and recognising how new arrivals enrich our community and the UK more widely.
  • We connect and collaborate with other organisations and institutions working to support people seeking sanctuary.
  • We recognise we all have a role to play in building a culture of understanding, kindness and compassion both in college and beyond.

Hopwood Hall College and University Centre has been recognised with a number of prestigious awards.

This includes the Queen’s Anniversary Prize – the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a further education college. We received this national accolade in recognition of our groundbreaking trauma-informed approach to widening participation. In addition, the college picked up a highly acclaimed Beacon Award for Widening Participation. Presented by the Association of Colleges, the award is recognition of our relentless pursuit of ensuring everyone has access to life-changing education. Finally, Hopwood Hall College and University Centre was named a double winner at the esteemed Educate North Awards. It was first named the winner of the Social Mobility Award following the success of its programmes to deliver strategic support to disadvantaged students.

Queens Prize Logo
Social Mobility Award Winner Logo x200
Sustainable Green Initiative Winner Logo x200
Beacon Awards Winner Logo

How we help you to feel safe and supported:

Our students are at the heart of everything we do at Hopwood Hall. Your wellbeing and success are of paramount importance to us.

At Hopwood Hall we put your wellbeing and safety first. Our dedicated Pastoral, Welfare and Safeguarding Team are here to keep you safe and ensure that you have the very best experience and really get the most out of your time at college. It’s their job to make sure you are kept safe from abuse or neglect or harm of any sort.

The team supports your progress, performance and personal development. They will help you to make the most of your time at college by giving you support, guidance and lots of encouragement along the way on anything that may be concerning you or affecting your learning or personal life. Just remember that no question is too small, and no problem too big, confidential advice and support is what they do best. Learners can access the Hub any time at either campus or speak to a member of the team.

It’s your college, your voice is important to us.

When it comes to Learner Voice, Hopwood Hall is a place where you don’t have to be noisy for your voice to be heard. We encourage you to find your voice and have your say at every opportunity. We value your feedback and do our best to listen and respond to what you say.

Financial Support – At Hopwood Hall we understand that money matters 

College course fees are made up of several elements including tuition fees and exam fees and the cost depends on your age, existing qualifications and your personal circumstances. For the latest information on fees and eligibility, please call 01706 345346 or visit our reception at Rochdale Campus or Middleton Campus.

At Hopwood Hall College, we pride ourselves on giving students the best financial support around. From a free breakfast to free college bus services, you can be confident that you are joining a college that really cares about you and your financial needs.

We think that everyone has the right to further education and training, and we are committed to supporting learners to achieve their full potential. Wherever possible we offer additional financial support to help students who are experiencing hardship with costs associated with college.  

We have several financial support packages available, funded by the Government, that are designed to assist students who are experiencing financial hardship. The funds are provided to enable you to participate and remain in education. They can assist with course costs such as: 

  • Travel 
  • Equipment 
  • Childcare 
  • Lunch 

Additional funding to support your studies as a refugee:

There are several helpful funding options available for refugees and asylum seekers looking to gain new skills through education. Depending on the type of grant you apply for you may be eligible for financial support towards your studies, including the cost of fees, travel, resources and equipment. For more information, visit:

If you’re reading this as a refugee and have questions, please email our team at,  talk to our Student & College Services team on 0161 643 7560 for further advice or visit our reception at Rochdale Campus or Middleton Campus.

Courses for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students 

If English isn’t your main language, our ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses can help you improve all aspects of your language skills. Our experienced staff will support you to improve your English and gain a nationally recognised qualification. There’s a lot to look forward to when you study ESOL at Hopwood Hall College. You can expect to greatly improve your grasp of English, boost your employment prospects and also join a community of likeminded people.

Our courses are taught at our Rochdale Campus in Greater Manchester. It’s here where our friendly tutors will cover the four main skills of ESOL: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

You can gain a nationally recognised qualification, which will then help you to advance to further study or employment. In addition to improving your English while studying ESOL, during your time at the college you’ll also have the opportunity to study Maths, IT and learn how to access travel, housing, healthcare and the job market. There’ll also be plenty of fun to have along the way, with tasks designed to develop your interview and entrepreneurial skills as you become better equipped to live, study and work in the UK. In addition, the course is a great way to improve your confidence and general abilities. You’ll learn about UK culture and take part in events that celebrate your own culture.

Whatever you want to do, whatever your goal, we’ll help you achieve it!

ESOL is a fantastic course that will allow you to thrive in the UK. Due to this, it’s important to us that you’re placed on the right course for you. Register, book an ESOL assessment appointment or for more information on fees and eligibility, please call 01706 345346 or visit our reception at Rochdale Campus.

Once you have registered your interest in studying ESOL, we will support you to complete an assessment. This will give us a better understanding of your learning needs and we’ll be able to make sure that you are enrolled on the right level of study and have the support you need.

Discover our courses: ESOL – Hopwood Hall College and University Centre

Staff celebrating Macfest
Students attending the Refugee Event
Middleton Campus
Rochdale Road, Middleton
Manchester, M24 6XH
0161 643 7560
Rochdale Campus
St. Mary’s Gate
Rochdale, OL12 6RY
01706 345 346