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University underlines its commitment to care leavers during awareness week

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Support services at the University of Bradford

University offers wide range of support to those who have been in care

The University of Bradford has underlined its commitment to helping young adults who have spent time in care, as part of National Care Leavers’ Week (October 25 to 31).

In June, the University became one of the first institutions in the country to be awarded a new quality mark recognising its support of students who have been in the care system.

Nationally, ‘care leavers’, as they are known, are far less likely as a group to enter higher education and once there, are more likely to drop out.

Support network

That is why the University of Bradford offers an extensive support package and network to care leavers. This includes help and guidance prior to and during any degree, in addition to financial support.

Student Life Team manager Sarah Jones said: “Care experienced students may encounter unique challenges in the transition from a sixth form or college to higher education and we have a personalised package of support available to help ensure that they have a full, enriching and enjoyable experience here at Bradford.”

Support includes guidance on how to gain enough entry points to successfully apply for a university place, a £1,000-a-year grant, and a dedicated support team available throughout their time at university.

Caroline Priestley, Senior Outreach and Recruitment Officer, said: “The Recruitment and Outreach team offers pre-entry activities, both in group sessions and one to one support to ensure students have access to lots of useful information and guidance to make sure they are making the right decisions about which course to study and how the application process works.”

National recognition

Earlier this year, the University was one of 17 educational institutions to be awarded a new quality mark from the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL). It means the University is going above and beyond in supporting care leavers.

Academic Registrar Nikki Pierce said previously: “As a university we are committed to social inclusion and the whole ‘levelling up’ agenda; our commitment to care leavers is part of our wider university strategy. We recognise the unique challenges care leavers face, that they may have had significant disruption in their lives, may lack the kind of resources and family support of other students.”

Earlier this year, Sasha Perinovic-Shah, who recently graduated from a BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Behaviour degree, told her moving story here.

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