The University of Bradford is enhancing the support offered for the care experienced community. Care leavers are classified as a “key focus group”, and as such the university has brought together stakeholders from across the institution to develop this area of work.
The University is working with NNECL as part of the pilot project and also developing wider areas of support under the Care Leaver Covenant.
The University will aim to update the outcomes of this work by June 2020 and would welcome any correspondence about our activity.
As a member of the Go Higher West Yorkshire Partnership, the University of Bradford will support care leavers interested in applying to study here as well as care leavers who are already studying here.
Dedicated outreach support for care leavers – including a named contact within the UK & EU Recruitment Team, one-to-one support covering university choices, applying to university, student finance, accommodation options and opportunities to visit campus to meet with academics and current students. A peer to peer mentoring service is also available to support the transition to university study.
Contextual admissions – the University of Bradford’s Progression Scheme is open to all applicants who have been ‘looked after’ at any point in their lives. Eligible applicants receive a reduced offer of 8 UCAS points and can receive a further 8 UCAS points (total of 16 points) if they engage with events including open days, taster days and progression scheme workshops on campus. This offer applies to nearly all degree programmes at the university.
Accommodation – In addition to the standard 42-week contract available to all students, the University can support you in securing year-long accommodation, if needed.
Care Leaver Champions – At Bradford, all professional services and Faculties have a named care leaver champion who can provide support and advice to all care experienced students .
Career and Employability Services – offer a welcoming, supportive environment to access impartial careers information, advice and guidance from professionally qualified staff. At Bradford we have a dedicated advisor in the team who can work with and signpost care experienced students to a range of services and support.
Counselling Provision – An on campus counselling service is available which recognises the additional pressures and challenges of care experienced students, and it offers a confidential space to talk about emotional and mental wellbeing issues, if you need it.
Financial Support – A Care Experienced Students’ Grant of £1,000 a year is available to all students who have previously been in local authority care and have a household income of less than £30,000 per year. Additional financial help is also available from the University’s Student Support Fund which, depending on circumstances, can award grants of up to £2,000 a year. Care experienced students have priority access to the Fund and it is open to them all year round.
Named Contact before you start and during your studies – care experienced students have a dedicated pre-admission and post-admission point of contact to support with any queries relating to their HE journey.
Peer Mentoring – New students with experience of the care system will have the opportunity to receive one-to-one support from a Peer Mentor who will be a student already studying here or a recent graduate. Peer mentors can help to support you to adjust to university life and study and to build learner independence and self-confidence. In addition, Peer Mentors will run a ‘Care Experienced Student Forum’ at least once of year, which will be open to all care experienced students regardless of whether they have engaged in the Peer Mentor Scheme.
Step Up to HE – As a care experienced student you will be invited to join the Step Up to HE programme at the start of the academic year. It is the perfect opportunity to meet other students and members of staff while beginning to develop some of the essential skills you will need to make a success of your studies.
Website Support – A dedicated site for care leavers who are thinking about coming to University and could benefit from schemes to help them progress into higher education, and receive extra support when they arrive.
2. A Robust Employment Offer
The University of Bradford is currently reviewing the ways in which it can provide support to care leavers through its employment offer and will be providing further updates as this work progresses.
The University of Bradford is committed to raising awareness of Children who are currently Looked After and Care Leavers, the UK & EU Recruitment Team have links with relevant contacts within the Local Authority’s Virtual School, who are responsible for the education of all looked after young people across the district. This partnership has resulted in several planned activities including:
- Opportunity for Virtual School advisers to access dedicated university advice, guidance and support for the looked after young people registered with the Virtual School
- Opportunities for Virtual School advisers to receive training on campus, covering higher education choices, admissions, UCAS applications process and student finance, as well informing advisers on the full offer of support available to care experienced applicants and existing students
- Regular attendance at Virtual School team meetings to discuss individual cases, and promote other opportunities to visit campus such as open days and taster day conferences
- The University has a student led “Eye Clinic” which is free for the community to access. We would encourage the care leaving community to take full advantage of this service. Click the following link to book your FREE appointment www.bradford.ac.uk/eye-clinic/
The support provided by the University of Bradford for care experienced individuals is promoted through local community networks in the form of outreach update emails, attendance at networking events, is detailed on the university website, and discussed in relevant meetings with schools, colleges and other organisations.