FREE accommodation will be offered to ten undergraduate care leavers for a whole year under a new scheme being launched by Coventry University.
The rooms at the university’s own halls of residence will go to new students joining for the new academic year in September.
The university places an emphasis on supporting care leavers as part of its goal to improve higher education access for underrepresented groups.
Care leavers have often gone straight from care provision to university and may not have a home to return to in the holidays, as well as limited financial support.
The chance to have free accommodation throughout their studies will help to open doors for them to access higher education.
It is not yet clear if students will be allowed to study on campus in September, but the free accommodation in the halls would come with broadband to allow them to study remotely if needed.
Helen Bogusz, the university’s welfare and disability support manager, said the lack of financial support, or sometimes none at all, makes the students vulnerable and the scheme would eradicate any worries over accommodation.
Coventry University also has a partnership with Santander, which provides £10,000 per year to help fund the care leaver students who join the university’s Global Leaders Programme (GLP).
It offers trips abroad along with networking opportunities and workshops.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, with international travel halted, the students were offered a bursary of £1,000 to help them make ends meet during the pandemic.
Guy Daly, the deputy vice-chancellor for education and students, echoed the calls about the university providing opportunities for everyone, including care leavers who were often less likely to progress to university.
“I am really pleased and proud that we are providing this additional support to care leavers so that they are more likely to take up higher education opportunities.”
Applications for the scheme are open until July 20, in line with the deadline for students to apply for halls through the university’s student accommodation company FutureLets.
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