Featured Signatory Offer Details

 

University of York

The University of York is a collegiate research university, located in the city of York, England.

 

1. Student

Support with transition to university – dedicated contact

Starting university is a daunting time for most students. At York we have a dedicated care leavers’ contact  so that you have a single point of contact both before you get here and during your studies at York. Joanna Paluch-Edwards is the key contact for all new care leavers. If you have indicated on your UCAS form that you are a care leaver, Joanna will automatically be in touch with you. However, you can also contact her at any time (even if you did not disclose your care leaver status on your UCAS application) if you have any questions or concerns relating to university life.

 

Joanna can:

  • help with any further questions you may have about our courses and what it’s like to study at York
  • act as a link between you and your local authority
  •  facilitate a tailored visit to the University where she will meet you and discuss what support will be available to you
  • meet with you when you start at York
  • offer emotional and practical support throughout your studies and direct you to other appropriate university services
  • keep you updated with news and opportunities through a monthly newsletter
  • put you in touch with other care leavers at the university, if you would like this. There are a number of social activities that you can go along to – they are a fun and informal way to meet other care leavers
  • put you in touch with a current student who can meet you on arrivals day, help you settle in and take you for lunch. Where possible, this student will also be a care leaver
  • offer you tailored budgeting advice that will help you manage your money effectively and meet your essential costs, whilst still being able to enjoy yourself!

 

Message from Joanna:

“Starting university can be a daunting time. I will be in touch with you regularly during the few weeks before you start and continuing throughout your time here.

If you would like to visit and aren’t able to attend an Open Day, I can arrange a tailored one-to-one tour and cover travel costs. I can also give you guidance on applying to Student Finance.

You may need support with organising your move to York; if this is the case, let me know and I will help.  To make your arrival as smooth as possible, we provide you with a welcome pack that will include bedding and kitchen packs for students moving into our campus accommodation. If you do not have suitable luggage, please let me know as I can arrange for this to be provided. I can also put you in touch with a student buddy if you would like to have someone meet you and help you settle in on your first day.

Please get in touch with any questions you may have.  I look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the University of York – it’s a fantastic place to study!”

Joanna’s contact details:

Email address:

Phone number: 01904 324140

 

We recognise that you may not want to tell anyone else at the university that you are a care leaver. This information will be kept confidential and will only be shared if you give consent to share.

Outreach

There is also a dedicated member of staff in our Widening Participation Team, Lorna Bowling, who works closely with Joanna to support you in thinking about your future and more specifically, whether university is right for you. Please contact if you are thinking about going to university and would like to discuss your options.

We are happy to support you by giving you advice over the phone, via email or by meeting up in person for an informal chat about: university in general, student finance, student support, courses available and different types of universities.

We can arrange for a current university student to show you around campus and answer any questions. Wherever possible, the current student will be a care leaver. You are welcome to bring a support worker or foster carer along with you.

We run several long-term programmes and residentials; any care experienced young people who apply are given priority places. In addition, we run workshops, talks, conferences and campus visits specifically for care experienced young people who are considering university. These happen throughout the year during school holidays and evenings.

Finally, if you would like to visit the University of York for an Open Day, Interview Day or Visit Day, we are happy to arrange to pay for your travel costs.

Application support

You can contact our Admissions team for support as early as you would like, even before you apply to York. We can talk you through the different course types and offer advice on which course might be right for you as well as guidance on writing your personal statement.

Contextual admissions

We welcome and encourage talented students from all backgrounds to apply to York. We are pleased to tell you that as a care leaver, we can offer you a contextual offer. Contextual offers aim to provide a fair chance of getting into York. They allow us to look at more than exam results in the application process. This means that you can get an offer that is 1 to 2 grades lower (please note that a reduced offer will not be lower than BBC or equivalent). This also means that you will be guaranteed an invitation to interview by any departments that undertake interviews, and you may get a lower offer based on your interview.

The University of York Access Scheme aims to improve access to the University for applicants who have faced challenging circumstances. Through the Access Scheme you can provide additional information which will be considered alongside your UCAS application.

Additionally, if you have taken part in one of our widening participation programmes, we can reduce your offer by up to three grades. Please speak to our admissions team if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

Student Buddying Scheme

Through the Student Buddying Scheme we can put you in touch with a second or third year student. Where possible, we aim to match you with a current student who is also a care leaver. This student buddy will help you settle into university life and get the most out of your first year here.

Pastoral support

In addition to the support you will receive from the care leavers’ contact, Joanna, there are plenty of other people you can approach for advice or a chat when you are at York, including: your college team, your academic supervisor, YUSU (University of York’s Students’ Union), Open Door and Disability and colleagues in the Student Hub.

Dedicated care leaver webpage

We have a specific webpage with useful information for prospective and current students who have spent time in care: www.york.ac.uk/students/support/care-leavers/

Free year round campus accommodation for the duration of your course

We will offer free campus accommodation (currently capped at £130 per week) to students who meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You are studying an Undergraduate degree course
  • You are a Home UK student
  • You will be under 25 on the first day of your university course

You have care leaver status and have been assessed as a care leaver by student finance. This means you will have been in care for at least 13 weeks at any time since the age of 14 (the period of 13 weeks does not need to be all in one go).  If you are unsure whether you have care leaver status you should check with your leaving care team or personal adviser; you can also get more information here. If you haven’t been assessed as a care leaver by student finance but you think you meet the criteria please get in touch with Joanna by emailing or phoning 01904 324140.

After your first year at York you may decide to rent shared private sector accommodation that requires a UK based rent guarantor. If you don’t have a UK based guarantor, the University will either act as your guarantor through the Rent Guarantee Scheme, or will cover the administration fee charged by a private rent guarantor service (e.g. Housing Hand), in order to enable you to rent in the private sector.

Flexible accommodation lets

If you have accepted either a firm or insurance place at York and apply for University accommodation by 31 July, we guarantee you an offer of a room owned, managed or approved by the University. You’ll be able to stay in University accommodation for 365 days of the year should you need to.

The sooner we know that you’re a registered care leaver, the better we’ll be able to help. Even if you’re making a late application, let us know your situation as soon as possible.

Our 40 and 44-week lets cover both the Easter and Christmas vacation while our 50-week lets cover summer too. Even If you want to live in York over the summer, you can still include shorter let lengths in your preferences. You can apply to live on campus for the summer nearer the time.

Many students will move into private sector accommodation for their second year. As you won’t know what your plans are yet, we’d advise you to select a 40 or 44-week let length to keep your options open. If you choose one of these shorter let lengths, we still guarantee you a room over the summer so that you can stay longer if you would like to. We suggest you don’t choose a 38-week let length as this would mean moving your belongings out of your room during Easter.

We understand you may require additional information to help make your accommodation choices and are happy to discuss individual requirements. You can get in touch via email at or by phone on +44 (0)1904 322165.

Additional financial support

In addition to the standard student finance loans, we offer a Care Leavers’ Bursary to students who meet ALL of the following criteria:

 

 

The bursary can be used towards a range of opportunities or activities. Examples include (this is not an exhaustive list): driving lessons, childcare, funding an internship, travel costs, study materials, and Students’ Union society activities.

The value of the Care Leavers’ Bursary is as follows:

●     Year 1: £3,000

●     Year 2: £2,500

●     Final year: £2,500 plus £1,000 to be paid in term three to assist with graduation and interview costs.

The package is available for each year of full-time study for the duration of the course, reduced by 50% for full-year sandwich placements or study abroad years.

If you find yourself in unexpected financial difficulty while you are studying we can provide additional advice about hardship and emergency funding. If you decide to apply for this, you will be prioritised for an award.

Careers advice and employment support

As a care leaver you will be guaranteed an interview for the role of Student Ambassador, as long as you complete the application form to the best of your abilities. The Student Ambassador role is a flexible, paid, part-time position where you will be an ambassador for the University and a role model for prospective students. In addition to this role being a great opportunity to earn some money, it will also help you develop skills in communication, team work, social and cultural awareness and problem solving.

You can access personalised information and advice from an experienced team of staff, both on campus in the Careers and Placements building and remotely via phone, email and Skype. Appointments can be booked via the Careers Gateway. 

We would encourage and support you to take up a wide range of opportunities available to you at York which build your readiness to find, compete for and secure the career options you want. The York Futures Scholarship programme will enable you  to take full advantage of the many exciting personal and professional development opportunities such as work experience, placements, study abroad and placement year. Through the programme, you can apply for financial and practical support to suit your ambitions at the different stages of your time at York. For instance, we would encourage you to consider a year in industry or year abroad study and/or work option for which you could be eligible for an award of £6,000.

Placement or study abroad year

Here at York we offer a wide range of opportunities to study, work or volunteer abroad. A global experience during your degree can be life changing. Not only will it enrich your academic studies, it will prepare you for a career in a competitive and global job market.

We aim to provide every student with an opportunity to develop a global perspective whether through study, work or volunteering. This global experience does not necessarily have to take place abroad, there are also ways to get involved here in York.

Additionally, there are opportunities to have a placement year which is a structured work experience opportunity that can be integrated into your studies, giving you a substantial amount of work experience that is recognised within your degree title. Many organisations offer placement opportunities and they are a great way of developing your employability skills whilst getting a flavour of a particular working environment. Placement years generally last between 9-12 months and are often aimed at penultimate year undergraduates.

Whilst on a placement or study abroad year, you will remain in full contact with York and be supported by all the services offered to students on campus.  If you have a year abroad at another university, you will also be supported by the equivalent services at the host university.  Worldwide travel insurance is offered for free to all students on study abroad programmes through our university business travel cover.

 

In order to support a placement or study abroad year, the university will provide you with a free, secure space for you to store your belongings. We will confirm these details during the process of applying.

Christmas stockings

All care leavers receive a Christmas stocking containing several small gifts and a Christmas card signed by the Vice Chancellor. This small gesture is intended to let you know that the university community is thinking of you over the Christmas break. Through this project we also hope to raise awareness of some of the challenges faced by students studying without family support.

Winter hosting

If you’re staying on campus over the Christmas and New Year period, you can sign up for our winter hosting. We match students who are in York over Christmas with a local person or family in York. The meet-up can be for just a few hours at any time over the festive season. For everyone involved, it’s a chance to meet someone new and share in some Christmas celebrations. This could be for a meal at their house, a walk in the park or to attend a Christmas event together. Once you’ve applied, we’ll be in touch to arrange a brief meet and greet at the start of December so you can have a chat first.

Graduation

If you would like someone to attend your graduation, a member of our student support team would love to join you – just let us know.

You can use the final bursary payment of £1,000 at the end of your degree to help towards the cost of hiring a gown and graduation photos so that you can thoroughly enjoy your graduation.

 
 

2. A Robust Employment Offer

Employment and community pillars

The University is committed to supporting care leavers as a whole-institution. We have established a working group of staff from across the university who have all inputted into the Covenant. The group includes staff from:

  • Admissions
  • Careers
  • York Cares
  • Social Policy and Social Work
  • Student Support and Advice
  • WP Outreach
  • Physics Outreach
  • Access and Participation Monitoring and Evaluation Team

Going forward into the new term, we are broadening the scope of this group so that HR and Commercial Services will also be a part, as well as current students who are care leavers. Additionally, we have staff in the group who are care experienced.

As a group we have begun to consider the employment and community pillars and our aim is to map out our timeline for these two pillars in the Autumn term, and to update Spectra with our progress in April 2020.

3. Community

Employment and community pillars

The University is committed to supporting care leavers as a whole-institution. We have established a working group of staff from across the university who have all inputted into the Covenant. The group includes staff from:

  • Admissions
  • Careers
  • York Cares
  • Social Policy and Social Work
  • Student Support and Advice
  • WP Outreach
  • Physics Outreach
  • Access and Participation Monitoring and Evaluation Team

Going forward into the new term, we are broadening the scope of this group so that HR and Commercial Services will also be a part, as well as current students who are care leavers. Additionally, we have staff in the group who are care experienced.

As a group we have begun to consider the employment and community pillars and our aim is to map out our timeline for these two pillars in the Autumn term, and to update Spectra with our progress in April 2020.

Taking Up This Offer

If you are interested in taking up any of this support, contact Roxanne Pendlebury, Interim Director of Marketing, Recruitment, Admissions, and Outreach by email to or by telephone on 01904 324 035

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