Guidance and support
Widening Access Students is a term to define a range of students who wouldn’t typically, or haven’t historically, accessed Higher Education in large numbers. Widening Access students may face additional barriers to accessing and progressing in higher education than their more advantaged peers. Strath Union is committed to providing parity of access and participation to all students enrolled at Strathclyde. This page provides a comprehensive list of all services currently offered to Widening Access students through the Student Union and the University of Strathclyde. If you can’t find what you are looking for, or feel there is an area which we could improve on, please feel free to get in touch.
Estranged students are those who are studying without the support and/or approval of their family network, due to a breakdown in relationships. This might be their biological, step or adoptive parents, or wider family members, who have been involved in their care.
The University of Strathclyde was the first university in Scotland to sign the Pledge to Stand Alone, a charity which supports adults who are estranged from their family. As an advocate of estranged students, the University offers a range of help and support opportunities for any students who identify as estranged.
The Care Experienced and Estranged Students Society (CE/E Society) was set up to merge two previously small societies, ESoS and the CE Society, into one cohesive network of support, opportunities and social events. Like many of the Widening Access societies, the CE/E society is closely involved with the Union’s Access and Participation Coordinator. To learn more about the CE/E Society, or to become a member, click here.
The term “care experienced” refers to anyone who has been, or is currently in care. This care may have been provided in many different settings, such as:
The University of Strathclyde was the first educational institution in Scotland to sign up as an 'official friend' of Who Cares? Scotland. As an advocate for care experienced students, the University has developed Strath Cares, a page dedicated to offering help and support to care experienced students throughout their learning journey.
The Care Experienced and Estranged Students Society (CE/E Society) was set up to merge two previously small societies, ESoS and the CE Society, into one cohesive network of support, opportunities and social events. Like many of the Widening Access societies, the CE/E society is closely involved with the Union’s Access and Participation Coordinator.
To learn more about the CE/E Society, or to become a member, click here
If you wish to contribute to the further development of this society, please get in contact with either the current committee, or the Union’s Access and Participation Coordinator.
A first generation student is someone who is the first generation of their immediate family to attend University, either at Undergraduate Level or Postgraduate Level. The University and Union recognise the additional support such students may need in successfully completing their course at Strathclyde, and have set out targeted support to accommodate this.
The First Generation Society is also in the process of providing a dedicated space for FG students.
To learn more about FGS and/or become a member, click here.
In addition to the dedicated Widening Access spaces, there is also a Liberation Room for use by any individual who identifies with one of our four Liberation Groups.
The Liberation Groups are:
For more information on any of our liberation groups click here.
For more information, or to access the Liberation Room click here.
Along with your Liberation Reps the Union also has in place a Vice President of Inclusion. Your VP Inclusion is Rachel. For more information on her role, and how to get in contact, please click here.
We have a number of faith based societies, who may have additional space requirements which can be used by all who identify with that community. More information can be found here, by filtering the drop down menu to show faith and cultural groups.
We are aware the nursery has a long waiting list, and so would advise to reserve a place early.
The library is in the process of creating a dedicated family study room on Level 3 of the library. For more information, please visit the help desk on level 3 of the library (Curran Building) or click this link for more contact information.
The learner development services are open to any student who wishes to explore their own learning. Support may include one to one advice sessions, workshops, lectures, supported study and self-access resources. Whilst this comprehensive service is open to all, specific services may be of particular benefit to WA students, including the online learning portal; offering 24/7 access to self – access materials, allowing distance learners or those who have additional commitments out with University access to support outside of regular 9-5 office hours. Students who may benefit from this service in particular include:
The Advice Hub exists to offer guidance and signposting on a range of services. Advice falls into four main categories; academic, housing, finance and benefits. For a full list of services, and where to find the Advice Hub, please click here
Care experienced SAAS-funded undergraduate students can apply for their tuition fees to be paid and a non-income assessed Care Experienced Students Bursary of £8,100 (in 2019/20). They can also apply for the Care Experienced Accommodation Grant for help with paying for accommodation over the summer holiday up to a total of £105 per week.
The Discretionary Fund is available for Home/RUK students to apply to via the University’s Funding & Financial Support Team. This is a means-tested application based on need to help out with financial difficulties that could not have been anticipated at the start of study.
The Unite Foundation offers an accommodation scholarship for students who are statutory care experienced or estranged from their families. This will pay for up to three years of accommodation, including all bills, in Unite Students accommodation, leaving you free to focus on other things! You need to be aged 25 or under, doing your first undergraduate degree, with a UK home fee status to apply.
Those who have spent time in care or who are estranged are also guaranteed secure accommodation in University halls all year round so you don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to stay during holidays.
The Go Global Travel Award has been designed as part of our commitment to Widening Access. Go Global gives students from under-represented groups the opportunity of international travel and empowers them to pursue international experiences.
For more info, and to apply, click here.
If you are a Widening Access student and struggling to afford to get involved with a Strathclyde Students' Union or University of Strathclyde activity (such as a club, society, sport or volunteering opportunity), then you may be eligible for the Participation Fund.
If you are experiencing particular financial difficulty or are under unexpected financial pressure,there are several funds available from the University that might help depending on your circumstances.
For more info, or to apply, click here.
As a Widening Access student, you may be eligible for fast tracked access to counselling, should you need it.
For more information, or to apply, click here.
If you are care experienced or estranged, you may be eligible for the corporate parenting scheme. This is a mentoring programme organised by the Widening Access department at the University of Strathclyde. For more information, or to apply, please email Louise Martin.