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Below you will find a list of resources designed to support Widening Access students at Strathclyde. There are a mix of external links, Union led initiatives and University support.  
N.B. If you are care experienced and/or estranged (CE/E) we recommend reading the EaCES handbook to give you a fuller picture of the support available to CE/E students nationwide.

Below you will find a list of resources designed to support Widening Access students at Strathclyde. There are a mix of external links, Union led initiatives and University support. N.B. If you are care experienced and/or estranged (CE/E) we recommend reading the EaCES handbook to give you a fuller picture of the support available to CE/E students nationwide.

Unite Scholarship

Up to 3 years rent and bills in Unite student accommodation.

Applicants must be:

  • 25 or under
  • Care experienced
  • Starting or studying your first undergraduate degree
  • New and existing students at a Unite partner university 
  • Applications re-open 1st January 2024.

Find out more

EaCES Handbook

The EaCES Handbook is a virtual guide written by over 40 estranged and care experienced students (EaCES) - as well as those from orphaned, refugee and kinship-care - to bring together information and advice to help other students from the same background: including official support, their own experiences, and practical tips. The Handbook is designed to support students like them pre-entry, throughout their time in education/apprenticeships and post-graduation. 

View handbook

Go Global

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.

The project has been suspended in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Please check back here for updates.

Participation Fund

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.

Apply here

Hardship Funds

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.

Financial support

The Care Leavers Foundation

The Care Leavers’ Foundation Trust Fund exists to provide young people who have been in care with opportunities and ‘second chances’. It aims to enhance the life chances of care leavers and reduce their experience of social exclusion. Cash grants will be made where the applicant meets the criteria set out in the guidance document and funds are available to meet the request.

Grant applications will be accepted from care leavers aged 18 – 29, although strong preference is given to those age 21 and over. The maximum single award is currently £400.00 and there will be a maximum limit of £400.00 in a twelve month period payable to any individual, whether in stage payments or as a result of separate applications.

View guidance

Counseling Fast Track

As a Widening Access student, you may be eligible for fast-tracked access to counseling, should you need it.

Student Counselling

Corporate Parenting

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.

Learner Development Services

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:

  • Direct Entry students who may be adapting to the culture change from Further Education (college) to Higher Education (University).
  • Widening Access students including care experienced, first-generation and estranged students who may have limited support systems outside of University.
  • Neurodiverse learners who may find conventional teaching methods challenging.

Current support

Advice Hub

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. 

Advice Hub

Frequently asked questions

What financial help is available to me?

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 the need to help out with financial difficulties that could not have been anticipated at the start of the study.

What do I do if I don’t have accommodation over the summer?

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.

Am I eligible for benefits?

If you are a full-time student, you may have entitlement to benefits if you care for a child or if you have a long-term illness or disability. Most people with eligibility can either apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Universal Credit – these are the most common benefits applicable to some students. A lot of old benefits such as Child Tax Credits, Housing Benefits, and Income Support can no longer be applied for in most circumstances.

Part-time students have the same entitlement as non-students, but it’s important to know that your benefits can be affected by changes in your circumstances including student income, so it’s worth speaking to someone to have your entitlement checked.

How do I pay for childcare?

There are a few options depending on whether you are a Home/RUK, EU or International student.

If you are a Home or Scottish student and receive the Lone Parent Grant from SAAS, you could also receive up to £1,215 from the Lone Parent Childcare Grant for registered childcare. While you apply for the LPG from SAAS, applications for LPCG are made directly to Strathclyde through the Funding & Financial Support Team. The LPCG is not income assessed.

Students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland can apply for the Childcare Grant which covers up to 85% of registered childcare costs for full-time students. You’ll apply for this directly with your main student finance application every year.

All Home/Scottish and RUK students can apply for the Discretionary Childcare Fund through the University for help with formal registered childcare expenses, whether they are lone parents or not. This application is income assessed and based on need.

EU and International students cannot apply for support with childcare costs.

I haven’t studied for a while, can I get help with writing an essay?

Study Skills is the team for you! They work one-to-one, through group workshops, and offer online resources to help students with their learning and study needs. They offer advice in lots of areas including reading and note-taking, critical analysis, and exam preparation, and some of their workshop topics include ‘Effective Time Management for Postgraduates’ and ‘Dissertation Planning and Writing.’

Information Services also run Skills Boost sessions on loads of different useful things like how to get the best from Google and Google Scholar, referencing, using literature databases, as well as vital areas such as looking after your wellbeing.

Explore this area

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