Scholarship announced to support care leavers and estranged students at Oxford Brookes University

Scholarship announced to support care leavers and estranged students at Oxford Brookes University

A new accommodation scholarship is to pilot at Oxford Brookes University for care leavers or those who are estranged from their families.

Oxford Brookes is one of four universities that has been successful in its bid for the match-funded initiative with Unite Foundation as part of the A Home at University – Widening Access & Participation Pilot. The scholarship covers the full cost of accommodation for three students for 365 days a year, for up to three years of eligible study. The scholarship is available to UK undergraduate applicants who begin their course in October 2023.

Unite Foundation, alongside donor partners Astra Foundation and The Dulverton Trust, have awarded this scholarship in recognition of Oxford Brookes’ commitment to supporting care leavers and estranged students during their education. This commitment is demonstrated by the University being a signatory to the Stand Alone Pledge which recognises the needs of these students, with a dedicated action plan to ensure extensive support is in place. Oxford Brookes also provides personal support from an advisor throughout their studies.

Fiona Ellison, Director of the Unite Foundation, said “Oxford Brookes demonstrated a clear commitment to utilising this opportunity in order to learn and develop their approach to supporting students with experience of care and family estrangement. This was compellingly combined with their academic focus to amplify learning and insight in this area and to shine a spotlight on activity that can support care leave and estranged students. We’re very excited to be working together on this pilot scholarship scheme.”

Helen Hall, UK Recruitment & Partnerships Director at Oxford Brookes University, added: “Oxford Brookes is proud to have partnered with Unite Foundation to further our support for care leavers and estranged students. We are committed to ensuring that students can achieve their academic potential regardless of family background or circumstance.”

Independent research from Jisc, a UK digital, data and technology agency, provides strong evidence that the Unite Foundation scholarship model improves educational outcomes, specifically in year-to-year progression, completion and degree classification. Over 10 years, Unite Foundation’s scholarship student outcomes were close to, or on par with, non-care leaver students across these key access and participation metrics.

Eligible students can apply on the Unite Foundation’s website from 1 January 2023 if they have a confirmed offer from Oxford Brookes. The scheme will close on 14 June 2023 and successful applicants will be informed on 5 July 2023.