Refugees Early Entry to Study Law

Early entry into Law for people from a refugee background.

The University of Newcastle will offer people from a refugee background the opportunity for early entry to study Law.

The Refugee Early Entry Scheme considers a person’s whole experience, including beyond results at school or tertiary admission rank.

Successful applicants are accepted into the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Combined degree program before sitting their final Higher School Certificate (HSC) examinations, reducing the pressures associated with the transition to higher education.

Associate Professor with Newcastle Law School, Amy Maguire, said people from refugee backgrounds had a range of diverse experiences to bring to legal study and practice.

There are many people in our communities from refugee and migrant backgrounds who will benefit from legal representation by people who share lived experiences and cultural knowledge,” Associate Professor Maguire said.

Widening participation is a core value at the University of Newcastle and we want to support motivated and talented students, regardless of their background or circumstances, who might not otherwise have gained access to our programs.

Our whole Law School is enriched by the increasing diversity of our student body, so our early entry schemes really increase success for all.”

University of Newcastle law student Gabby Hinchey.

The scheme is the Law School’s second after the Indigenous Early Entry Scheme that has admitted 20 Indigenous students into Law since 2017. Indigenous students now comprise five per cent of undergraduate Law.

Gabby Hinchey, a Gamilaraay woman from Tamworth, gained entry to Law via the Indigenous Early Entry Scheme and said it had been life changing.

I’ve always had my sights set on studying at the University of Newcastle so it was such a weight off my shoulders and a transformational moment to be accepted through the Early Entry Scheme,” said Ms Hinchey.

To people considering applying for the Scheme, my advice is to go for it.”

Associate Professor Maguire said Newcastle Law School’s commitment to promoting fairness and overcoming injustice were core values of the University that are lived and breathed through the Law School – Australia’s leading clinical law school.

Our integrated community legal practice, the University of Newcastle Legal Centre, provides pro bono legal advice to members of the community who might not otherwise have access to legal representation,” Associate Professor Maguire said.

The Legal Centre has acted for refugee and migrant clients, and our staff and students contribute to advocacy for the rights of people claiming asylum in Australia, so this new entry option helps bring our work full circle.”


Newcastle Law School invites applications from eligible students preparing for their Higher School Certificate, or enrolled in an enabling program at the University of Newcastle, to apply for entry to the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Combined. This is a five-year, full-time program in which students complete a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) alongside another degree program of their choice.

Applications for the Refugee Early Entry Scheme close 13 September. More information: