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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



For students currently studying at the university, please contact:

Rachel Farmer (Exeter Campuses)


Alex Lewis (Penryn Campus) 


For independent information and advice:

Claire Botham
Widening Participation Coordinator - Students’ Guild


Supporting care leavers and care experienced students

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 9-13)

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 three 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 




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 (Exeter Campuses)


Richard Prest (Penryn Campus)


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

Penryn Career Zone
Phone: 01326 253735


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


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.




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.