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Care Leavers

At Northumbria we understand university is a major transition and whilst it can be an exciting time, it can also feel quite overwhelming. For students who have experienced time in care, we understand you may have specific concerns or matters which are unique to other students, throughout your student journey to and whilst at Northumbria. For care leavers, there are a range of services available through NU Belong to support your journey to university, to help you settle in and throughout your time at Northumbria.

At Northumbria University we define a care leaver as a young person under the age of 25 who:

  • Have 'former relevant care leaver status' according to the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000. This status applies to people under the age of 25 who were 'looked after' by the local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and ending after the age of 16.
  • Have been privately fostered up to the age of 18 – this arrangement must be for more than a two-month period.
  • Have been the subject of a 'special guardianship order', 'kinships fostering' and were 'looked after' immediately prior to the making of the order.

The university recognises that having experienced time in care you may face some unique challenges on your journey to university. As such, we have a dedicated member of our outreach team who can provide information and advice to support you from deciding if university is right for you, through to applying and transitioning to university.

 

As a care experienced student, you would likely be eligible for one of our supported entry schemes. These schemes offer a range of support and opportunities, to help students throughout their journey to Northumbria University. In addition to the information and support provided through the scheme, successful completion of one of the supported entry schemes enables students to earn supported entry scheme points, equivalent to UCAS tariff points, when applying to Northumbria university. 

For more information about these schemes and to apply, please visit our supported entry scheme webpage.


Northumbria University is a member of the North East Raising Aspiration Partnership (NERAP), a collaboration of the five universities in the North East of England, working together to support young people to think about their futures and how higher education can help them reach their goals.

The partnership offers a number of events each year for care experienced students:

Choices together is an annual four-week programme of online events dedicated to opening up the world of university and post-18 study, taking part in February/March.

Foster family fun days – A to visit a university with your carer and take part in a range of activities.

For further information about these events, please click here.

Care experienced students currently in further education may also be able to get involved in our regional support programme. For further information about the support provided for care experienced students in further education through NERAP, please click here.

Care experienced students wishing to find out more and visit the university, should get in touch to discuss arranging an individual campus visit, which will also provide you with an opportunity to find out more about the bespoke support we offer for care experienced students.


We are here to support you throughout your journey to university and are able to provide information and advice for care experienced students on an individual basis throughout the application process.


If you are currently holding an offer with us and require any support or have any questions about the transition, such as finding accommodation or financial support, further information about this support can be found below or please do get in touch.  

To access any of the support for care experienced students or for more information or any questions, please do get in touch and we will be happy to help.

Email: nu.inclusion@northumbria.ac.uk.

 

 

How we can help whilst you study with us?

The Student Inclusion Team, based within Student Life and Wellbeing, is a key point of contact for Student Care Leavers within the University whilst you study with us.  The team offers advice on a range of issues and has a dedicated Wellbeing Practitioner who can advise on welfare, financial, academic and health matters and act as a referral point into other support services within the University. Here are the ways we can support you through NU Belong:


You may be eligible for the Care Leaver’s bursary of £2000 from the University’s Access to Learning Fund (Hardship Funding). The bursary is a fast-tracked application to ensure you are financially supported during your studies.

Your named contact within the Student Inclusion Team will send you an application to complete in the Student Portal once you are enrolled at Northumbria. If you are eligible for the Care Leaver’s Bursary, your £2,000 award will be split into two equal payments across the academic year.

The bursary is available for eligible ‘home’ students under the age of 25 who are studying on a full – time undergraduate course. Eligibility criteria is based on the University definition of care leaver as detailed above. In order to receive the Care Leaver’s Bursary, you will need to provide a letter/ evidence document from, for example, your Social Worker to confirm that you meet the criteria.


Northumbria University also offers Care Leavers university accommodation on a 52-week basis at the same cost for the normal letting period for that residence. Please note that this only applies to university owned accommodation. This will not apply to privately provided accommodation or any of our nominated accommodation outlets.

NU Belong provides a designated named contact within Student Life and Wellbeing for Care Leavers. They can assist you if you are experiencing difficulties, have any concerns and are unsure on where to go for help. Whether you have academic, wellbeing or personal concerns, your designated contact can offer guidance, support and referrals into other University services if required. Our aim is to ensure that our students receive the right advice and support from the right people when needed.

Your designated contact from the Student Inclusion Team will also contact you once a term as a commitment to offering the opportunity for a 1 -1 appointment. These are not mandatory but 1 – 1 time can be beneficial for students to discuss any specific worries or concerns, an opportunity to reflect or set future goals, or as an opportunity to simply chat through how you are getting along.

NU Belong will promote opportunities, initiatives and events aimed at enhancing your student experience, engagement and empowering you towards success. Students are able to agree to receive communications on these from the Student Inclusion Team as part of the online enrolment but can also opt-in at any point.

 

 

How to Contact Us:

Current students can enquire via their Student Portal. If you are not a current student and you would like to contact us please use this form and we'll be in touch 

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