Featured Signatory Offer Details

University of Sunderland

The University of Sunderland will support care leavers interested in applying to study there as well as care leavers who are already studying there.

Full Details

  • We aim to communicate as clearly as possible and have a publication called ‘Supporting Care Experienced Students – From application to Graduation’ that outlines our full range of support as well as having specific web page information on the university website, a dedicated email and a dedicated telephone line to our care contact team. 

  • Our own support is enhanced with a collaborative programme of outreach with the five North East Universities known as North East Raising Aspirations Partnership (NERAP).

  • We provide collaborative opportunities for care experienced young people to engage with progressive and relevant programme of activity from Year 7-13. We are responsive to the particular needs of these students and our university care contact team will facilitate bespoke and one to one activity to support their progression where appropriate.

  • Giving care leavers priority status, reassurance and security when applying to and staying in accommodation through our 52 week accommodation or summer storage guarantee; residential support coordinators; moving in day support and guidance; help to settle in including orientation of the City; support with the first shop and a welcome voucher.

  • Providing additional support to help meet the costs of living independently whilst studying. This includes our Care Leaver Scholarship of £1500 per annum (paid in three instalments of £500 throughout the year) at both undergraduate and post graduate level; advice on other externally funded scholarships that may be available; priority access to the University of Sunderland Hardship Fund and support with the costs of graduation. We also provide budgeting guidance and enhance this offer through links with the Students Union, who can provide additional support, guidance and advocacy.

  • The University also has a range of other scholarships for all, including free travel ticket or an accommodation discount in the first year of study and there are other discretionary scholarships including the University of Sunderland Scholarship and we give care leavers and some other widening participation cohorts’ priority status.

  • Providing care leavers with additional pastoral support and signposting throughout the student lifecycle and named advisers in key services who offer information and one to one advice and guidance. These include The Student Access and Funding Team, Careers and employability and Student Wellbeing services and the Students Union.

  • Providing care leavers with opportunities to experience new things, to enrich their university life and experiences. For example we have sought funding to support a care experienced student with specialist sports equipment (via a local charity – the Brian Roycroft Memorial Fund).

  • Provide care leavers with a network of support through key relationships with Local Authorities, Care Workers, Social workers; Leaving Care worker or parents and carers, charities, schools and colleges underpinned by Higher Education training and awareness raising. We can also attend Pathway Plan meetings to support the care experienced applicant/student.

  • Raising awareness of the needs of care experienced students amongst current staff and students and consulting regularly with care leavers to inform development of our services and action plans. We will provide training and staff development to staff across the institution to raise awareness of the support we offer. This will include key events such as confirmation and clearing, open days etc. 

  • We ensure that our staff are part of the local and national networks to raise the profile of care experienced young people and ensure we offer the best possible support. We currently work with local authorities, Charities Northern Care Leaver Activities and Student Support (NorthCLASS); Stand Alone (this is a pledge for estranged young people and can include care experienced) and the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) and feature in their YouTube video promoting the benefits of care experienced students to other higher education institutions. 

  • We are committed to supporting our students financially throughout their student journey to ensure that care leaver students are not only supported but are able to fully experience university life. We will even act as a guarantor for those care experienced students who choose not to live in halls or want to move into a flat with friends following time in halls, for those who would otherwise not be in the position to secure private accommodation. We ensure that care experienced students know to choose private landlords who are part of the University vetted landlord scheme. 

  • We will publicise our commitments on our website, setting out how care experienced young people can access the support and invite feedback from care leavers on their impact. We will continue to consult with our care leaver students to ensure our support is holistic and that our students remain at the heart of our support network. 

Taking Up This Offer

If you tick “Care leaver” on your UCAS application you will be contacted and offered support through your application process.

For more information: www.sunderland.ac.uk/help/student-support/care-leavers/

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