Support for Care Leavers

Swansea University offers additional support to students who have been in care.

The prospect of attending university is exciting, but we understand it can also be a daunting. We have a support package in place to help you transition into university, focus on your studies and graduate successfully.

We provide information, advice and guidance on everything from applying to university to accommodation, academic support and more, so you are able to make informed decisions about your future at Swansea University and beyond.

The information below outlines the support package for eligible Care Leavers. If you have care experience, been under guardianship care, have no living parents or are a foyer resident, please get in touch to discuss your circumstances and to establish the support available to you.

Informing the University of your status

The best way to inform us that you are a Care Leaver is by ticking the box in the care question on your UCAS application. By ticking the box, we’ll be able to get in touch with you, outline the support available and help with any questions you have before you arrive at University. Don’t worry if you forget to tick the box on your UCAS application, you or your Social Services Team can email our Access Officer to notify us of your status. 

Identifying yourself as a Care Leaver will not negatively affect your application to the University and your status will remain confidential. By ticking the box, the University will only use the information to ensure you receive the appropriate support and grade reduction, if applicable. Your Care Leaver status will not be passed onto your department.

University is a new chapter for students, and we understand that you may want to move away from your Care Leaver status. Letting us know that you are a Care Leaver will help us notify you of the support available however, it’s completely your decision whether you chose to access the support or not. If you choose not to, our door is always open if you change your mind.

To provide you with support, we won’t need to know why you have been in care so we’ll never ask about your care experience.

 

How do I qualify for support?

To qualify for the support package, you need to:

  • Be a ‘home’ student, studying full time or part time on an Undergraduate or Postgraduate programme
  • Be aged 25 or under when you start your course
  • Have been in Local Authority Care for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14
  • Have been in Local Authority Care at school leaving age (16) or after

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can benefit from all of the support arrangements offered by the University at any time. If and when you do come to study at Swansea University, you remain entitled to the support until the completion of your course.

Dedicated Contact
Headshot of Chloe, wearing a yellow jumper in front of a blank wall.

Chloe Aspland is your dedicated contact from application through to graduation. Chloe can support you by:

  • Answering any questions you may have about applying to university or studying at Swansea University
  • Arranging travel to an Open Day, or arranging a tailored visit if you can’t make one of our Open Days
  • Liaising with your Local Authority to ensure you are receiving all relevant support
  • Helping you to apply for the Care Leaver bursary
  • Signposting and referring you to a wide range of support services and employability opportunities at Swansea University
  • Keeping you updated with news, opportunities, and events through our newsletter
  • Delivering various events throughout the year specifically for you as a Care Leaver
  • Being your named contact throughout your studies

You can contact Chloe directly by emailing accessofficer.campuslife@swansea.ac.uk

What support is available?

What pre-entry support is available?

Assistance with your application to the University
If you have any questions about applying to or studying at Swansea University, please get in touch with Chloe.

Financial assistance to attend interviews and Open Days
Chloe can help organise your visit and arrange to meet you. Travel costs can be reimbursed (this will usually include 2nd class rail travel and other public transport costs).

Care Leavers Compact Deal
As a ‘Compact Student’ you will receive a reduction in your required A-level grade (or equivalent) which will reduce our requirements by one A-level grade (or equivalent). Terms and Conditions apply.

Accommodation deposit
When you are offered accommodation, you’ll need to pay a deposit to secure your accommodation. If you are worried about these costs, please get in touch to discuss your options.  

What support is available whilst studying?

Care Leavers Bursary
We offer a Care Leaver bursary in each year of study to undergraduate students of £2,000 which is split into 2 payments throughout each academic year. Part-time students will receive a pro-rata payment of £1,000 in each year of study of their undergraduate course.

Postgraduate, PhD students and students completing a second degree (including GEM and PGCE) are eligible to receive a postgraduate Care Leaver bursary which is a one-off payment per course of £1,000. 

Welcome pack
We understand that you may not have all the basic necessities needed to move into your new accommodation. If you are worried about the cost of purchasing items such as bedding and kitchen essentials, please get in touch.

Money management & budgeting session
Student Loans are paid in three instalments.  As a student this may be the first time you have had to handle such large amounts of money.  To help you do this successfully, Money@CampusLife are on hand to provide advice and guidance on budgeting.

Priority Access to Hardship Funds
As a Care Leaver, you have priority access to the Swansea University Opportunity Award. This award is in place to help students who have faced unforeseen financial difficulties. There is no guarantee of an award from the fund, however if granted, it does not have to be repaid.

All year-round accommodation
Swansea University can guarantee you 365 days a year accommodation on campus for your first year at University including Christmas, Easter and summer holidays providing that you apply early enough. Alternatively, we will also help you to find private accommodation in the local area should you need assistance.

Library support
As a Care Leaver person, you have access to a named contact through the Library Plus team who can provide support services. For more information, please visit the Library Support page https://www.swansea.ac.uk/library/student-support/libraryplus/

Go Wales, Discovery SVS and Swansea Employability Academy Support
Chloe can support you in making connections with Go Wales, Discovery SVS and Swansea Employability Academy.

Go Wales run the Achieve Through Work Experience programme which is an initiative to create work experience opportunities for students on higher education courses in Wales.

Discounted or free access to Skills for Life Sessions 
Skills for Life offer a range of workshops to improve life skills including first aid, barista training and navigation. Each workshop has an allocated number of discounted or free places for Care Leavers. Places are available on a first come first served basis and you’ll have a limited time to book your place.

Access to the Student Ambassador Scheme
As a student, you can apply to become a Student Ambassador. We’ll notify you when applications are open and are happy to help with completing an application and preparing for an interview.

Free membership to Swansea University’s Alumni Association
As part of the Alumni Association, you can benefit from a wide range of services: get in touch with other former students through the Buddy Board; receive news about the University and fellow alumni via regular e-news bulletins and the annual Sail Magazine

What support is available prior to graduation?

Careers advice
Prior to completing your studies, we’ll arrange a careers advice appointment with the Swansea Employability Academy (SEA). This service helps students and graduates to make career decisions, gain work experience and find jobs.

Graduation costs
We understand that graduation is a major milestone in a student journey, but it can be expensive. We don’t want the cost to be barrier to not attending graduation. So, if you are a final year Care Leaver who is graduating, you can apply for assistance towards your graduation costs via the Swansea University Opportunity Award.

Social Workers and Professionals

If you are working with a Care Leaver who is considering applying to Swansea University and you have some questions about the application process, funding or the support package available, Chloe will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Confidentiality

All information deal with by the Access Officer is done so in the strictest confidence. On the occasions that we need to consult staff from other department, or external organisations, we only do so with prior consent from you.

Contact Us

If you would like to get in touch, please email accessofficer.campuslife@swansea.ac.uk

Current students must use their student email when contacting Participation@CampusLife and the Access Officer.