Case study: Kingston University
KU Cares: Support for care leavers, young independent students, young adult carers and sanctuary scholars
Kingston is committed to supporting the access and success of young people who have experienced local authority care. Its KU Cares programme employs a team of people, including a designated member of staff to provide advice, guidance and advocacy for its students, in addition to other members of staff whose roles involve developing and enhancing the programme further and providing bursary and finance support. .
The programme includes outreach with looked after children, bespoke packages of financial help in addition to priority access to wider institutional funds and individually tailored support from pre-application through to graduation including access to and support in applying for internal and external opportunities. In addition to this KU Cares offers a graduations package including free gown hire, photography package, complimentary ceremony tickets and a graduation bursary.
The University has recently signed up as an early adopter of the government’s new Care Leaver Covenant, which demonstrates its ongoing commitment to supporting the participation and success of care-experienced learners.
“KU Cares made me realise that I am not alone out there, and supported me in various ways. They gave me a sense of community with other students from similar backgrounds, as well as making me feel valued by just checking on me every now and then with a call! A great team all around!”
“They gave great advice when I really needed it. When I was panicking the most about my situation, I knew that I could always turn to them when all my other friends were busy and stressed with uni. They really helped me figure out some stuff that was too overwhelming to think about on my own.”
“KU Cares is an extremely thoughtful and very nurturing department of Kingston University. The staff think and look after you even when you’re not thinking of yourself. With them, all your thoughts, ideas and feelings are supported; and your wellbeing is the priority.”
“The continued support I get from the care leavers team (KU Cares) is amazing and the bursary does really help, both physically but more importantly emotionally.”