Through the below actions, the University of Hertfordshire is committed to supporting its care experienced students throughout their time at university.
- The Widening Access team run a Children Looked After Summer School annually, collaborating with other institutions to raise HE awareness, but our provision is highlighted within the sessions.
- The Student Success team attends Herts Open days to promote the support available and ensures the University webpages are clearly explaining how care experienced students are supported.
- Identification of care experienced students early on the application/offer process (through UCAS reporting and then the Confirm a Place survey) to provide a named person/contact who can give personalised support and guidance pre-registration.
- Providing transition to university support in the form of a pre-entry day and providing an arrival package and welcome gift for new students that are staying on campus accommodation.
- Access to on campus accommodation throughout the year including out of term time and we are currently piloting a 50% accommodation discount offer.
- A bursary of £1800 for each undergraduate year of study.
- Priority access to the Student Success programme which Includes access to coaching, laptops, and financial assistance to support additional course costs for hardship support.
- A dedicated contact within the Student Success team provided support, guidance and signposting throughout their time at Herts with regular communications / promotion of any opportunities.
- A Graduation Package which includes a final bursary payment worth £1000 to support the cost of the graduation and next steps along with a 1:1 career advisor appointment and graduation meeting with the dedicated contact for care experienced students.
- Raising the awareness of the needs of care experienced students within the staff at the University of Hertfordshire and promotion of the support available.
- The University of Hertfordshire continually reviews its support for students, which also takes into consideration our care leaver provision.
- All care experienced students have access to dedicated careers support for four years after they graduate, and through our graduation package they have access to a named contact within the careers and employment team who can give them support and advice about their next steps after graduation.
- As well as the above, current students who are care experienced are given the opportunity to apply to work for our Widening Access and Student Success Ambassador scheme supporting our activities within the University and in the community.
A Robust Employment Offer
Potential future work
- Working with colleagues in Human Resources and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to raise awareness of how Care Leavers can contribute to the organisation and identify policies and processes that can be adapted to be inclusive of the needs of Care Leaver applicants and employees.
- Exploring whether there are members of the staff community who would be willing to contribute to our work through the sharing of their own experience of care, whether experienced directly or by association (e.g., being a foster carer).
- Working with the Careers and Employment team to explore opportunities for offering Care Leaver students and alumni, internships, work shadowing, placements and employment, either through the University or in collaboration with local community partners.
The University of Hertfordshire is committed to supporting Care leavers throughout the whole institution and will continue to develop our work. This will be updated as the offer develops for our employment offer.
- The Widening Access and Student Success team work to support underrepresented groups of young people into higher education and at the university. We work with targeted primary and secondary schools in Hertfordshire as well as local colleges, Hertfordshire Virtual School, SEND schools, Education Support Centres and more.
- Through our work with the with Hertfordshire Virtual School (HVS) we can reach out to the care experienced students and our activities are heavily promoted to the HVS for students to attend which Includes hosting the HVS summer school using Herts campus facilities free of charge.
- The University of Hertfordshire sits on the Eastern Region Looked After Children’s Group to be able to share best practice with other institutions on activities and support for Care Experienced students.
- Working with the Comfort Cases UK charity to help support our current students and looking ahead to working more with the charity in the future to continue to support our students. The Charity has provided Christmas gifts for our care experienced students as well as donating laptops.