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A Home at University - A Widening Access and Participation Scheme for Northumbria Students

Earlier this year The Unite Foundation invited applications from universities outside London to join the new ‘Home at University: Widening Access & Participation Pilot’. This new accommodation scholarship for students who are care leavers or estranged from their families, is an innovative match funded scheme between Astra Foundation and The Dulverton Trust, the successful university partners, and the Unite Foundation.

Following a selection process four universities were chosen to take part in the programme:

  • Northumbria University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Nottingham

The scholarships will be open to students who are care leavers or estranged from their family, and who are applying for their first year undergraduate study to start in the academic year 2023/24. The scholarship covers accommodation and bills for 365 days a year for up to three years of study.

Unite Foundation Director Fiona Ellison said ‘We’re delighted to be welcoming four new partner universities into The Unite Foundation family. The ‘Home at University: Widening Access & Participation Pilot’ will enable us to offer up to 17 new scholarships across four additional higher education providers. This means 17 care leavers or estranged students will have more choice when applying for a Unite Foundation scholarship and be able to take advantage of everything university has to offer.

We’re excited to work with Northumbria on this new scholarship. This pilot will enable us to reach students wishing to study in the North East, as the Unite Foundation currently don’t have any partners in the region. This coupled with strong institutional engagement from the 2022 THE University of the Year and Northumbria’s role supporting North East Raising Aspirations Partnership, will ensure that learning and insight from this work is shared with university partners across the North East.’

Graham Wynn, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) from Northumbria added: “I think what helps make Northumbria distinctive is that we are a research-intensive university with a very clear mission to widen participation. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with the Unite Foundation on this scholarship initiative, offering greater choice and life-chances to students from all backgrounds and circumstances.”

The pilot scheme will open for applications on The Unite Foundation website from January 1st 2023 and is open to all care leaver or estranged students applying to first year undergraduate courses starting in the academic year 23/24.

The Unite Foundation is an independent registered charity offering unique accommodation scholarships for care leavers and estranged young people at universities across the UK.

The Unite Foundation scholarship takes care of students’ accommodation and bills, covering up to three full years of study for 365 days a year. Our aim is that with a stable home taken care of, Unite Foundation students feel able to access and experience everything that university has to offer.

The charity currently works with 26 universities across England and Scotland, and the team works closely with Unite Students: the charity’s accommodation partner and principal corporate donor. It also receives funding from The Astra Foundation, The Dulverton Trust and The Portal Trust.

Founded in 2012, the Unite Foundation is currently celebrating its 10th Anniversary. To date, the Unite Foundation has awarded 614 scholarships, with 285 graduates now pursuing their dreams.

For more information about the Unite Foundation and the scholarship visit




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