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Care Leavers

Support for Care Experienced Students

As a Care Experienced Student, you may encounter some unique challenges in the transition from a sixth form or college to higher education.

If you have been in the care of a local authority as a child, we can give you the support and advice you need to help you have a full, enriching and enjoyable experience at Bradford.

We’re able to give advice about student finance, and can provide one-to-one support throughout the application process, as well as arrange individual visits to campus to see the facilities and for you to meet academics and current students. We’re also able to arrange meetings with current University of Bradford students who have previously been in care.

How to apply for support

At any stage during the application process you can disclose to the University that you are a care leaver or care experienced applicant and our dedicated pre-admission point of contact will support you throughout the process. When you enrol on a programme at the University of Bradford you are asked to confirm your care experienced status and are given the opportunity to inform us how you would like to be supported during your studies.

The University of Bradford Progression Scheme

From 2019 entry our Admissions Team will take into consideration a number of contextual factors when assessing applications. Applicants who are Care Leavers or previously looked after will automatically receive an offer which is the equivalent of one A Level grade (8 UCAS points) lower than our standard entry criteria.

The scheme is designed to benefit undergraduate applicants whose personal and educational circumstances mean they could be less likely to receive an offer based on our standard entry criteria.

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Care Leavers Covenant

The University of Bradford is proud to be a signatory member of the Care Leavers Covenant.

We are committed to providing additional support for care experienced students and helping them to live an independent life.

Care leaver covenant signatory member logo

Support once you're here

The Care Leavers support package offers you all the support you need whilst at university and is designed for care leavers with permanent residence in the United Kingdom and who are ‘home students’ for fee purposes. 

Students with refugee and asylum status, and under local authority care, are welcome to apply for support. Please email us for further information and guidance.

Care leavers support

How we can help

In addition to the standard 42-week contract available to all students, the University can support you in securing year-round accommodation, if needed. We can also help if you need a guarantor for a rental property. 

For more information please visit our Accommodation website or contact the Student Life Team at 

Our Career and Employability Services offer a welcoming, supportive environment where you can access impartial careers information, advice and guidance from professionally qualified staff. At Bradford we have a dedicated advisor in the team who can work with and signpost care experienced students to a range of services and support offered by the Career and Employability team.

For more information please visit our Careers website.

Our Counselling Service recognise that as care experienced students you may have additional pressures and challenges to face, and it offers someone for you to talk to confidentially about emotional and mental wellbeing issues, if you need it.

The service is open all year round and has a drop in at 13:45 every day. The team also help with access to online therapeutic self-help resources and deliver group workshops. If there is a particular theme or topic you need help with, or would like us to run a group about, please get in touch. No issue is too small and we are here for you if you need us.

For more information please email our counselling team, or visit our Counselling Service website.

A Care Experienced Students’ Grant of £1,000 a year is available to all students who have previously been in local authority care and have a household income of less than £30,000 per year. The Grant is paid each year at the end of May, but we can consider earlier payments based on individual needs. for more information, visit our Care Experienced Students Grant website.

Additional financial help is also available from the University’s Student Support Fund which, depending on circumstances, can award grants of up to £2,000 a year. Care experienced students have priority access to the Fund and it is open to them all year round.

You will also have a dedicated Money Adviser contact to help you with your finances and funding throughout your time at Bradford. This support is available from pre-application through to graduation.

For more information please email us or visit our Fees, Financial Support and Scholarships website.

New students with experience of the care system will have the opportunity to receive one-to-one support from a Peer Mentor who will be a student already studying here or a recent graduate. Peer Mentors can help to support you to adjust to university life and study and to build learner independence and self-confidence. 

This is likely to involve 3-4 meetings per semester, scheduled on campus and at times to suit you and your mentor, to talk about academic or other issues you may be facing.  The Peer Mentors can use their experiences to help you or will signpost you to the most appropriate university service. In addition, Peer Mentors will run a ‘Care Experienced Student Forum’ at least once of year, which will be open to all care experienced students regardless of whether they have engaged in the Peer Mentor Scheme. 

For more information please email us.

As a care experienced student you will be invited to join the Step Up to HE programme at the start of the academic year. It is the perfect opportunity to meet other students and members of staff while beginning to develop some of the essential skills you will need to make a success of your studies.

For more information please email us or visit our Step Up to HE website.

Your contacts

Care Leaver Champions