A care leaver is a young person who:
- has been in the care of, or been given accommodation by, their Local Authority (LA) for a period of at least 13 weeks before the age of 16
- has not reconciled with their parents between leaving care and starting their course
The term ‘care experienced’ is inclusive of the range of care settings an applicant may have encountered, such as:
- living with foster carers
- living in a residential children’s home
- being looked after at home under a supervision order
- living with friends or relatives in kinship care – either through a formal arrangement (e.g. a Special Guardianship order) or an informal arrangement without local authority support
The University of Suffolk is committed to supporting care leavers and those with care experience on their journey into higher education and throughout their time at university, so that they can get the best out of their university experience and reach their full potential.
The University of Suffolk participates in the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers Eastern Region group to provide opportunities and support for looked after children, care leavers and those with care experience to progress onto university.
What we offer.
Before applying to University, we offer Care Leavers and those with Care Experience:
- dedicated outreach through our Outreach Team and our Uniconnect partnership (NEACO)
- an annual residential programme (14-18 years) in partnership with UEA.
- dedicated application support
- drop-in sessions for university offer holders to offer advice and support on starting university.
Once a University of Suffolk student, Care Leavers and those with Care Experience are offered:
- A dedicated Student Life Adviser, with (at least) termly appointments to review your needs and act as a point of contact for any worries or questions you might have. To contact or make an appointment with the advisor, please email "> or telephone 01473 338833. The dedicated Student Life Adviser = works within a wider team of Student Life Advisers and the team can be contacted for advice and guidance through the general team email , as you need.
- A suite of workshops available to help manage stress, anxiety and study skills with bespoke workshops as needed.
- Pre-entry study skills development courses to help you meet fellow students and begin to understand what it means to be a University of Suffolk student
- One to one support in the development of your skills and confidence in producing academic assignments, including finding information, English for Academic Purposes, study skills, maths and IT
- For Care Leavers only we have a Care leavers Bursary of £500 per year for 3 years subject to eligibility criteria based on the Student Loans Company criteria
- A University of Suffolk Bursary of £500 per year for 3 years subject to eligibility criteria is open to Care Leavers and Care Experienced students
- Suffolk life mentor scheme. Our Student Services Team will always be on hand to help but we think it would be a good idea to tap into the expertise of your fellow students. By joining the Suffolk Life Mentor scheme you will be assigned one of our trained volunteer students (a Suffolk Life Mentor) who are in their second or third year here at Suffolk.
- Accommodation– 52 week accommodation available by arrangement at Athena Hall for Care Leavers and Care Experienced continuing students.
The University of Suffolk reviews the services and support available to care leavers and care experienced applicants and students to ensure that they deliver the intended outcomes and revise as necessary.
2. A robust employment offer
The University of Suffolk is keen to explore how, within our organisation, we could respond to this aspect of the Covenant. We have a well-established Careers and Employability team and will within the next year establish specific support for care experienced students.
The University of Suffolk maintains very strong relationship with both Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils in order to consult with and support young people in care who want support into HE. In addition, we host an annual residential jointly with the two councils and the University of East Anglia.
We share and publicise all information widely including through our Uni Connect Partnership, neaco, via schools and our website. Information is also publicised through LA’s and Propel.