UCAS Supporting Care Experienced Students in Higher Education

  • FosterWiki
  • Author:UCAS
  • Published:2022
  • Country: United Kingdom

UCAS Supporting Care Experienced Students in Higher Education

If you are in care or have experience of being in care in the past, there’s lots of support available in higher education to help you with finance, accommodation, and settling in.

What do UCAS mean by care experience?

Being care experienced means you will have spent time living with foster carers under local authority care, in residential care (e.g. a children’s home), looked after at home under a supervision order, or in kinship care with relatives or friends, either officially (e.g. a special guardianship order) or informally without local authority support.

Sometimes you will see the term ‘care leaver’ used. Although this has a slightly different meaning, it is occasionally used interchangeably with ‘care experience’.

What support can care experienced students get in higher education?

There is a wide variety of support available for care experienced students in higher education – some of which is managed by your local authority, and some by the university or college.

It’s important to remember this support is there to help you overcome any challenges you may face, to ensure you are able to settle in well to university life and to give you an equitable chance to do well in your studies. All students are in full control of the support they are offered and if you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to – it’s entirely your call.

You can find more information on the Propel website but here is an overview of the important things to look out for – remember to do your research before you apply (see our tips below) so you make the very best decision for you.

You could get the following support with the following:

  • Financial
  • Accommodation
  • Looking after your mental health and wellbeing
  • Settling in
  • This Is Us online community
  • A named contact in the student support team (This varies between universities and colleges)
  • Workshops, orientation events or taster sessions over the summer holidays(This varies between universities and colleges)
  • Mentoring or buddying schemes, social events and peer networks(This varies between universities and colleges)
  • Travel bursaries to help you attend open days and interviews(This varies between universities and colleges)

Support from the local authority

By law, every person leaving care should have a pathway plan in place that sets out how the local authority will support you to live independently after you leave care. This includes making plans for higher education, employment and training, and also matters such as accommodation and finances.
Read more about pathway plans on the Become website

Care Experienced Education Higher Education support UCAS UCAS Support University

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