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Care leavers

The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 defines a care leaver as a young person who has been in the care of a local authority for at least 13 weeks including at the time of their 16th birthday.

We’re committed to providing support to young people in the care of a local authority who aspire to go to university. As part of this commitment, we offer practical advice and support on how to apply and, once you're enrolled on a course, we will give you every assistance to achieve your degree. This support also extends to young people with a background in other forms of care, who have been privately fostered or are estranged from their families.

Before joining us, we offer care leavers:

Pre-entry advice and guidance

  • Support with the application and admissions process. For general information on the application process, please consult our main Admissions pages.
  • Invitations to special events
  • A named contact at the University

After joining us, we offer care leavers:

On-course support

  • A pre-sessional induction event
  • Year-round campus accommodation, if required, for the normal duration of your course (at the current rate)
  • The opportunity to become a WP Student Ambassador (paid part-time work complementing students' studies
  • The opportunity in Year 1 to participate in our Widening Participation Summer Internship scheme and in Year 2 our Widening Participation Professional Mentoring programmes which link students with a business mentor
  • Graduation Support Package
  • Named contacts who will help to iron out problems

Financial Support

Care leavers may be eligible for a Care Leaver (Foyer Federation) Bursary of £1,000 pa for up to 3 years, in addition to any other financial entitlement, if they are under 25 and meet the definition of care leaver above.

Care leavers are also a priority category for various types of scholarships, provided they meet other eligibility criteria. See our fees and funding page for more information. 

Free accommodation scholarships available for estranged and care leaver students

           By Sarah Cox22 May 2017UF infographic partner Unis          

Young people who are estranged from their family or leaving care and planning to go to Brunel University London this September are being urged to apply for a scholarship providing them with free off-campus accommodation for three years.

A total of 28 universities, including Brunel, will be awarding the Unite Foundation scholarship, which provides free accommodation to care leaver or estranged students under 25-years of age. 

The Unite Foundation has been formed by independent accommodation provider Unite Students, and Unite residencies are home to a diverse community of national and international students from a number of London universities.

Applications for the scholarship close on Wednesday 31st May.

Helen Arber, Manager of the Unite Foundation said: “Too few young people estranged from their families or leaving care realise their full potential at university. We want to change that. A Unite Foundation Scholarship means a rent-free university home for three years of degree studies. It also brings other benefits, such as work placements and activities that support successful study and future careers.”

Since 2012, the Unite Foundation has supported 179 university students with scholarships, and with the inclusion of an additional 18 partner universities for the coming academic year, that number is set to grow.

Further information and a Unite Foundation scholarship application is available at www.unitefoundation.co.uk

Brunel University London provides a wide range of scholarships, studentships and bursaries, including tuition fee deductions, to eligible undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Every care leaver (who meets care leaver criteria) registered on a Brunel undergraduate programme is guaranteed a Care Leaver Bursary of £1,000 per year for three years, and a range of other support.

Brunel has a dedicated named contact for care leaver and estranged students. Karen Western is able to offer guidance before students enrol and through the whole student journey.

Karen Western, Widening Support Coordinator at Brunel, said: “We are really pleased to be working in partnership with the Unite Foundation. The Scholarship will really add value to our current provision. We are dedicated to improving the outcomes of care leaver and estranged students and are sure this will directly benefit students.”

Karen can be contacted on karen.western@brunel.ac.uk 


Reported by:

            Sarah Cox, Media Relations         sarah.cox@brunel.ac.uk