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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: exeter-cares@exeter.ac.uk

 


For students currently studying at the university, please contact:

Rachel Farmer (Exeter Campuses)

Email: exeter-cares@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 (includes both formal and informal), special guardianship, adoption or looked after at home with a supervision requirement. 

We have produced the decision tree below to help you understand whether you meet our care leaver or care experienced definition. The decision tree is intended to capture the vast majority of instances of care experiences, but we appreciate that there are highly individual circumstances that might not be captured. If this is the case, please do get in touch with us for further clarification.

T‌he above decision tree reflects the University of Exeter Policy and definition, other institutions and orgnisations may vary

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. You can find out what your contextual offer would be via this checker

  • 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.

 

*Where programmes have specific subject requirements, grade adjustments may differ to those stated above. Further details can be found on our course pages.

 

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.

 

Financial Support

For undergraduate students there is the opportunity to apply for:

  • the Access to Exeter Bursary

For advice and guidance for both applying to Student Finance England as an Independent Student and applying for additional funding, please contact the Advice Team at the Students' Guild.

Further information about funding is available on our financial support pages.

 

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: exeter-cares@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. The Exeter Cares team 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 join Exeter Cares social activities. If you have any questions please contact us via exeter-cares@exeter.ac.uk

 

Wellbeing Support

Health and wellbeing are crucial ingredients of effective study, as well as a rich and fulfilling student experience, but staying well in body and mind isn’t always easy at university. We recognise that it’s much more difficult to learn and enjoy student life when personal difficulties or emotional worries arise. Sometimes you need a little help to get “back on track” and our Wellbeing Team can offer a range of services to support you both personally and within your studies if difficulties occur.

For more information about support available see the Wellbeing website or email wellbeing@exeter.ac.uk

 

Accomodation

The University can provide access to accommodation during the whole calendar year including the holiday periods. First years can also apply for early arrival into their university accommodation.  

Applications for early access can be made online through a student’s accommodation account. They are processed in date order of arrival and subject to availability but with priority given to care leavers. The Accommodation Office are unable to guarantee that a student’s term-time room will be available before the start of the arrivals period, and it is likely that a student will need to move again during the arrivals period. 

 

Financial Support

Success for All Hardship fund

The University, in partnership with its alumni community, has created a fund to offer additional financial support if you are experiencing unexpected financial hardship which is affecting your ability to study within your current academic year.

Priority will be given to students undertaking their first degree who are from low income households or without family support. The majority of funds are means-tested and you will be asked to provide evidence in support of your application.

Allowable expenditure includes (but is not exclusive to):

  • Accommodation fees
  • Travel
  • Childcare
  • Course costs
  • Living costs
  • IT equipment costs
  • Unexpected one-off costs

 

All registered Undergraduate and Postgraduate students are eligible to apply. If your course is part-time, distance learning, or you commute to University, you are also still eligible for support.

Please note we will ask for supporting documents to evidence these costs.

For more information or about applying to the Success for All hardship fund please click here

 

Careers and employability support

The University of Exeter offers career and employability support and guidance throughout your time studying with us; with continued support after you graduate. The Career Zone can offer a wide variety of support, including fully funded internships, mentoring schemes and 1 to1 help to support you with your future plans . For further information please see the Careers website

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 exeter-cares@exeter.ac.uk

Financial support


Tuition Fee Waiver


The University of Exeter offers financial support in the form of a full tuition fee waiver to care leavers that are verified as being a care leaver. Students must meet the following criteria:


• Have a home fee status, and be paying the home level of tuition fee
• A UK citizen or resident in the UK for at least three years
• Studying a first degree; PGCE or integrated undergraduate Masters’ degree (e.g., MSci or MEng)*
• Meets the university’s care leaver definition and be verified as a care leaver by their Local Authority.
• Must be 25 or under when commencing their course

*The Care Leaver fee waiver applies to a student’s first degree only and for four years maximum in study length (which might include an integrated masters up to year four), with the exception of Medicine at the University of Exeter where we will support care leavers in all five years of study. Any additional years of study, for whatever reason, should be funded by the student themselves via the student loan system or by other means.

The fee waiver will only be applied for a PGCE course if the student did not receive a tuition fee waiver at UG level.  

However, we would advise any student who find themselves in financial difficulty, or needing to put specific study plans in place, to speak to us via their designated welfare caseworker or their Student Guild/Union where we can review this policy on a case by case basis. 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


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 be eligible for support through the Care Leavers Bursary, you must meet the following criteria:
• Paying home fees
• A UK citizen or resident in the UK for at least three years
• Studying a first degree; PGCE or integrated undergraduate Masters’ degree (e.g., MSci or MEng)
• Meets the university’s care leaver definition
• Must be 25 or under when commencing their course
• In receipt of financial support from the university through the Access to Exeter Bursary scheme.

 

To apply for this bursary you must be a registered student at the Universty of Exeter. For further information and for independent advice, please contact the Students’ Guild Advice Service.


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 exeter-cares@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 exeter-cares@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, a support meeting can be arranged by the Exeter Cares team and this will include discuss your accommodation options. Once your accommodation needs have been established, we can 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

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:

Exeter Cares: exeter-cares@exeter.ac.uk

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