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Contact

 

If you are considering higher education and need advice and guidance before and while you apply, or if you have any queries regarding what you may be eligible for, please contact:

Natalie Bracher

Email: careleaver@exeter.ac.uk

 


For students currently studying at the university, please contact:

Rachel Farmer (Exeter Campuses)

Email: careleaver@exeter.ac.uk

Alex Lewis (Penryn Campus) 

Email: Welfare.penryn@exeter.ac.uk


For independent information and advice:

Claire Botham
Widening Participation Coordinator - Students’ Guild

Email: advice@exeterguild.com

Supporting care leavers and care experienced students

Care leavers

We are committed to supporting care experienced students to realise their full potential through higher education study.

Our range of services (depending on eligibility) may include travel bursaries, a personal point of contact to support you through your studies, tuition fee waivers, help with accommodation, paid internships, academic skills support, bespoke employability advice and welfare support. Eligibility for some of this support depends on the timing and duration of your period in care.

Detailed information about the support we can provide to both care leavers and care experienced students can be found below, including some additional support specific to care leavers.

At the University of Exeter we define a care leaver as a young person (up to the age of 25) who has been looked after by a UK local authority for more than 13 weeks since they were 14, including some time at age 16 or 17.

We define care experienced as any student who has been or is currently in care or from a looked after background at any stage of their life, no matter how short. This care may have been provided in one of many different settings, such as in residential care, foster care, kinship care or looked after at home with a supervision requirement.

Exeter Scholars (Yrs 10-13)


As a care leaver or care experienced you may be eligible to be part of the Exeter Scholars programme. Becoming an Exeter Scholar can be achieved by completing one of four unique pathways that include a range of specific events and activities. This free programme gives you the opportunity to develop your knowledge about university and experience what it is like to study a subject of your choice at university level.
Find out more about Exeter Scholars 

 

Applying

Admissions

During our admissions processes we recognise the impact that being in care can have on a student’s attainment and this may be taken into account when we are considering your application. This might mean that you are made an adjusted offer to that we publish as our typical offer. This is called a contextual offer.

  • Applicants we define as a Care Leaver, anyone who has been looked after by the local authority for more than 13 weeks since they were 14, including some time at age 16 or 17 who receive an offer will receive a three grade adjustment.
  • Applicants we define as Care Experienced, anyone who has been or is currently in care or from a looked-after background at any stage of their life, who receive an offer will receive a three grade adjustment.

 

Additional eligibility criteria for contextual offers can be found here.

If you have any further queries with regards to contextual offers, please contact the Admissions team.

 

Contact us

If you are considering higher education and need advice and guidance before and while you apply, or if you have any queries regarding what you may be eligible for, please contact:

Natalie Bracher

Email: careleaver@exeter.ac.uk

Designated Member of Staff

Once you have been accepted at the University of Exeter, we offer a one to one meeting with the university’s designated member of staff for care leavers and care experienced students. They will help with advice and support, from careers advice to disability and additional needs support, accommodation to counselling and advice on your student finances. Once you are at Exeter you will have the opportunity, if you wish, to attend the Care Experienced support group who meet regularly. At these meetings, you will have the opportunity to talk about your experiences at University.

Peer Mentoring

We understand that the best and most reassuring advice often comes from fellow students who have been in the same position and share similar backgrounds and experiences. This is why we have developed a Peer Support programme which gives you the opportunity to gain support and advice from other care leavers and those who have experienced care in higher years at the University of Exeter.
As current students who are care leavers and care experienced, the Peer Mentors on this programme have had experience of accessing support from the University so they are able to guide you on where to go and who to speak to. They can draw on their own experiences of adjusting to University life and can give reassurance about any worries or concerns you may have.

Find out more about Peer Support

Careers and employability support

The University of Exeter offers career and employability support and guidance throughout your time studying with us; with continued support three years after you graduate. The Career Zone can offer a wide variety of programmes, including fully funded internships and mentoring schemes to support your entrance into the work place. These programmes offer the flexibility to create your own internship, financially supported by the Career Zone.

For further information please see the Careers website or contact:

Exeter Career Zone campuses
Phone: 01392 724493
Email: careers@exeter.ac.uk

Penryn Career Zone
Phone: 01326 253735
Email: cc-careers@exeter.ac.uk

Applying

Travel Bursary

As a care leaver you will be entitled to a travel bursary of a maximum of £150 to cover the costs of visiting the University whether to attend a Campus Tour, an interview or an Offer Holder Visit Day The bursary can be used to reimburse travel expenses only and cannot be paid as a cash alternative or be used towards any other expenses incurred as a part of attending a campus tour. Receipts are required for reimbursement - unfortunately we will not be able to reimburse travel claims without these. Travel claims will be paid for the student only and overnight accommodation costs will not be paid for unless advised otherwise. For further information, please email careleaver@exeter.ac.uk.

 

Financial support

Fee Waiver

The University of Exeter offers financial support to students who have been in care in the form of a full fee waiver for UK undergraduates and PGCE students, and a Care Leavers’ Bursary up to the age of 25. Care Leavers starting undergraduate or PGCE courses at the University of Exeter will not have to pay tuition fees. If you have identified yourself as someone who has been in care on your UCAS application form, our Admissions Team will contact you asking for further information.

Care Leavers’ Bursary

This bursary is available for both Undergraduate and PGCE students. To be eligible you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You are a care leaver (see definition above)
  • You must be under 25 when you start your course
  • You must be in receipt of financial support from the university through the Exeter National Scholarship or Access to Exeter Bursary schemes

The bursary is intended to help with the cost of accommodation during the summer vacation period after your first and subsequent years of study (but not final year). The bursary amount is not fixed, but is decided by taking into account the additional cost of your accommodation needs.

To apply for this bursary and for independent advice, please contact the Students’ Guild Advice Service.

 

Support

Accommodation

We understand that you may require additional information to help you to make your accommodation choices and we are happy to discuss individual requirements. For care leavers in the local area who are holding an offer from the University of Exeter, a support meeting will be arranged to discuss your accommodation options. Once your accommodation needs have been established, the University’s named contact for care leavers will liaise with the Accommodation Office to try and secure appropriate accommodation, including 365 day accommodation should this be required.

What our students say

What do our students say

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes – To book on to a Campus Tour click here

As a care leaver you will be entitled to a travel bursary of a maximum of £150 to cover the costs of visiting the University whether to attend a Campus Tour, an interview or an Offer Holder Visit Day The bursary can be used to reimburse travel expenses only and cannot be paid as a cash alternative or be used towards any other expenses incurred as a part of attending a campus tour. Receipts are required for reimbursement - unfortunately we will not be able to reimburse travel claims without these. Travel claims will be paid for the student only and overnight accommodation costs will not be paid for unless advised otherwise. For further information, please email careleaver@exeter.ac.uk.

In addition to an Open Day, why not take part in our Discover University series? Activity includes regular subject specific sessions delivered by our academic community, as well as information and guidance on choosing a university course, writing a personal statement, navigating the UCAS process and more! Each session includes a live Q&A with University of Exeter staff or students, which provides a great opportunity to gain insight into life and study at a University of Exeter campus.

Like and follow our Facebook page to receive regular updates, and book your place on the Discover University page.

If you are a care leaver you will be entitled to a travel bursary of a maximum of £150 to cover the costs of visiting the University whether to attend a Campus Tour, an interview or an Offer Holder Visit Day. The bursary can be used to reimburse travel expenses only and cannot be paid as a cash alternative or be used towards any other expenses incurred as a part of attending a campus tour.

Receipts are required for reimbursement - unfortunately we will not be able to reimburse travel claims without these. Travel claims will be paid for the student only and overnight accommodation costs will not be paid for unless advised otherwise. For further information, please email careleaver@exeter.ac.uk.

If you are a care leaver or meet our care experienced definition, then we understand that you may require additional information to help you make your accommodation choices and we are happy to discuss individual requirements.

For care leavers and care experienced living within the local area who have an offer to study at the University of Exeter, a support meeting will be arranged by the University's named contact for care leavers and care experienced and this will include looking into your accommodation options.

Once your accommodation needs have been established, the University's named contact for care leavers and care experienced will liaise with the Accommodation Office to try and secure appropriate accommodation, including 365-day accommodation, should this be required.

You can apply for accommodation once you have firmly accepted the offer of an academic place at University of Exeter and you have been sent your student ID number which you will require to apply.  

The how to apply accommodation page provides a detailed breakdown of how and when to apply for accommodation. If you have any additional accommodation queries, please contact ExeterAO@exeter.ac.uk

Yes – If you have accepted an academic offer and make the University of Exeter your firm choice a support meeting will be arranged by the University’s named contact for care leavers and care experienced and this will include discussing your accommodation options, including 365-day accommodation, should this be required.

Applications for early access can be made online through your accommodation account. They are processed in date order of arrival and subject to availability but with priority given to care leavers. We are unable to guarantee that your term-time room will be available before the start of the arrivals period, and it is likely we will offer you a temporary room. This means you will be required to move again during the arrivals period.

To qualify for a tuition fee waiver you must meet the university's definition of a care leaver:

At the University of Exeter we define a care leaver as a young person (up to the age of 25) who has been looked after by a UK local authority for more than 13 weeks since they were 14, including some time at age 16 or 17.

When care leaver students apply for finance, you will not be asked to provide parents details. Instead, care leavers will be assessed as independent students. This means that once the Student Funding Body receive evidence of care leaver status, they will award the maximum amount of Maintenance Loan available.

Students only need to demonstrate their care leaver status once – at the beginning of their course. Following this they will allocate maximum support (if they want it) for every year of their course – subject to usual entitlement guidelines.

Students should always apply for their student finance as soon as possible. This will help to make sure they get some money in time for starting their course. When applying to Student Finance England, students should apply for a maintenance loan and apply for a tuition fee loan stating the amount required as “£0”

Included in the UCAS form is a question asking whether you have been in care and for how long. We recommend that you complete this question as this will help the university with supporting you and identify whether you are eligible for a contextual offer. Information about your care expereince will only be shared with those involved with supporting you.

In order for our Admissions Team to assess your eligibility, the University will seek your permission to contact your Social Worker/Leaving Care Manager or Personal Adviser.

Obviously, we are aware of the need for confidentiality, and will always check that you are happy for any information about you to be shared between us and the local authority and will only use this information to help make your experience at Exeter a positive one should you come to us.

If you are considering higher education and need advice and guidance before and while you apply, or if you have any queries regarding what you may be eligible for, please contact:

Natalie Bracher: careleaver@exeter.ac.uk

Additional agencies that offer advice to all care leavers include The Become TrustNNECLBrightside and the Care Leaver Association