The University of Stirling has joined other higher education institutions in Scotland in enhancing its support for care experienced students - through offering care experienced applicants who meet minimum entry requirements a guaranteed place for undergraduate study.
The ambitious policy will take effect during the forthcoming admissions cycle, for those looking to start university in autumn 2020.
The commitment was announced by Scotland’s First Minister, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, at an event in Glasgow involving care experienced young people. The guarantee is aimed at significantly increasing the number of care experienced young people in higher education – a group that has been historically underrepresented at university. Currently, only 4% of looked-after school leavers go straight to university, compared to 41% of students who aren’t care experienced.
With places at Scottish universities in high demand, the move recognises the particular challenges faced by applicants with a background in care and the often difficult context in which people with care experience achieve their qualifications.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP said:
“I warmly welcome this commitment to guarantee a place at university for care-experienced students who meet the new entry requirements.
“Education is by far the most effective means we have of improving the life chances of our young people. I am firmly committed to widening access to higher education and ensuring that all learners, regardless of their background, have an equal chance of entering university.
“It is important that every young person has access to the learning that will provide them with the skills and qualifications they need to meet their aspirations and succeed in life.”
The University of Stirling is committed to enabling students from all backgrounds to achieve their full potential. This new commitment enhances the existing package of support available for care experience students, including guaranteed, year-round accommodation, and ongoing support from specialist advisors.
More information about the University’s widening participation support – including our package of support for those with a background in care – is available here.