The University of Surrey’s outreach team (WPO) runs the secondary school programme. Through this the team works with under-represented students in years 5 – 11 from local primary and secondary schools through a sustained progressive programme of education information and guidance and subject-specific activities.
Care experienced young people are guaranteed places on the following schemes:
- The Year 10 “Catastrophe on Campus” Programme; Catastrophe on Campus is the University’s sustained engagement programme for Year 10 students.
- Year 11 GCSE Revision Masterclasses.
- Year 12 Taster Days: subject-specific taster days to help sixth form and college students to get to grips with a subject at undergraduate level.
- A year 12 residential summer school programme which offers students the chance to experience studying a subject at university.
- A care experience summer school for young people in year 9, 10 and 11. This was first piloted in 2021 and was very successful.
- Open Day befriender scheme – care experienced learners will be paired with a buddy to support them through open days to help them feel comfortable and confident during their visit and support them to navigate the open day.
- The Surrey Scholars initiative – this year WPO have launched this initiative which is a hybrid programme of on campus and online activity for learners in year 10 – 13 with priority access to activity (including the activity detailed above) and exclusive invitations to events. Care experienced young people are guaranteed a place as a Surrey Scholar.
- In addition, this year WPO have launched Surrey Stars, an attainment programme for local schools with wide disadvantage gaps at GCSE. The programme includes targeted interventions for students who are eligible for free school meals, care experienced or from a Travelling community alongside an embedded aspirations curriculum to support a whole school approach. The aim of this programme is to support the development of attainment for these targeted learners.
The University of Surrey’s outreach team has a presence at the University’s open day offering information advice and guidance and we are looking to expand this support.
The University of Surrey’s outreach team offer financial support for travel to open days, applicant days and interviews and outreach activity. We also cover audition costs for the Guildford School of Acting
From 2022 entry the University has implemented a university-wide contextualised admissions scheme. This prioritises care experienced students. Students will receive a reduction in entry requirements, equivalent to one A-level grade lower. They will also have:
- A dedicated staff member to reach out to offer holders.
- Access to an E-Mentor (a current undergraduate student).
- Invitations to exclusive events that will support transition to and through university for care experienced students.
Current Support Available
- We proactively reach out to care experienced students at the beginning of the academic year to offer them 1:1 support
- We will offer a £3000 bursary with a £500 Moving On payment from the academic year 2022/2023.
- The University of Surrey has a dedicated point of contact for students who identify as care experienced on entry. The role aims to provide welfare advice and can signpost students to other services.
- Care experienced students receive a welcome pack during Welcome Week.
- The University of Surrey prioritises care leavers for accommodation and offers year-round accommodation for care experienced students, for a full 365 days.
- We are also committed to ensuring our guarantor scheme is available to care experienced students.
- The University of Surrey offers a global engagement study award for care experienced students.
- Specific information for care experienced students can be found on the student communities page surrey.ac.uk/student-support/student-communities.
- Care experienced students have access to the Team Surrey Sports and Activity Access fund of up to £250, which supports them in accessing the Surrey Sports Park.
- Care experienced students can also apply for the Access to Learning fund to help pay for books, IT equipment or anything else that might be required to aid a student’s learning – this is a grant of up to £250.
- The new Student Success Team is now in place to offer proactive support and guidance for students who are at risk of withdrawal and provide these students with long term pastoral support. Although the team supports all students and manages a range of complex student cases, they also have an added focus on supporting widening participation students and can provide care experienced students with one-to-one pastoral support in the form of regular appointments and provide information, advice and guidance throughout their time at university. We also offer a bespoke goals-setting resource for care experienced students when they meet with the Student Success Team.
The University of Surrey is committed to continuously learning from other institutions and listening to the voice of students. We are committed to improving practice and provision for care leavers. In light of this:
- The University of Surrey is a member of NNECL and attends regional South East meetings held by NNECL. The University is committed to continually learning from best practice. We are also keen to sign up the NNECL quality mark which has just been launched.
- We are committed to listening to the voices of students through establishing a care experienced students’ network and providing the opportunity for these students to feed back to the university about their experience, as well as a space to support each other and to socialise.