University of Stirling as a corporate parent

The University of Stirling is proud to be a Corporate Parent and is committed to supporting care experienced students. To meet our commitment, we have developed a wide range of support services to ensure that all students are able to fulfil their potential. We want to ensure that our students are aware of all of the support available to them before they come to the University to start their journey with us and make full use of the support available during and after their studies.

Corporate Parenting Plan 2021 - 2024

Our Corporate Parenting plan outlines the current support provisions in place and details the targets we have set and are currently working on. These build upon the University’s actions and progress to date. The plan reinforces our support for students with care experience and provides the basis for compliance with our requirements under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

The plan outlines the actions that the University will take over the current three-year period to support students with care experience and has been developed by our Corporate Parenting Steering Group whose primary function is to oversee the development, implementation, reporting, monitoring, and evaluation of the Corporate Parenting Plan. Our aim is to work with students with care experience, their supporters, advisers and external partners to help them find the best pathway to enter their studies with us, and feel supported to manage the transition into, throughout and out of university.

Summary of our Corporate Parenting plan

The foundation of the University’s Strategic Plan is for the University of Stirling to be a place where ability, not background is valued.

The core principle of our Corporate Parenting Plan is that we want our students with care experience to feel supported to access all that the University has to offer, in a way that works for them, so that their time at Stirling is fulfilling and enriching. We have obligations as a corporate parent and the plan details how these will be met.

Our Corporate Parenting Plan is a working document detailing our current obligations, commitments, and progress along with an agreed action plan required to support our strategy moving forward. The action plan is divided into three sections with each section detailing the actions/objectives associated with it. A summary of the actions currently being worked on is below:

1. Awareness raising

To build a better understanding of the specific challenges faced by students with care experience we are working on:

  • Incorporating the Open University training module, in collaboration with Who Cares? Scotland into our induction training and ongoing training programme for all university staff
  • Improving communications and raising awareness across the university on the support available
  • Gathering positive testimonials and case studies of students with care experience to demonstrate the university is supporting students to achieve their aspirations
  • Improving the data we collect to ensure it provides meaningful information on the outcomes for our students with care experience

2. Support

To increase the support framework for students with care experience throughout their journey at university we are working on:

  • Creating a one-stop point for students to access information and support, created in partnership with students and with care experience advisory groups
  • Extending the supported transition scheme to Postgraduate as well as all year groups of Undergraduate students to offer time and support to settle into university life before teaching commences
  • Providing opportunities for student-to-student support mentoring and advice to give an increased sense of belonging
  • Improving our 365 accommodation support to minimise moves for student outside of semester dates to improve student wellbeing and stability and offering a bookable, no cost space within university accommodation to enable siblings to visit and encourage family support and relationships
  • Providing an enhanced university accommodation welcome pack
  • Working with faculties to enhance training and support for key faculty staff to enable them to offer advice and guidance to our students with care experience
  • Improving the transition experience as students with care experience leave university by providing enhanced support

3. Partnership

To recognise the valuable role that students with care experience play to ensure that the university best responds to their circumstances we are working on:

  • Establishing a “students with care experience” advisory group which consults with students with care experience to improve our understanding of barriers to support or education and encourage engagement
  • Increasing student representation on the Corporate Parenting Steering group to at least to two students to ensure that the steering group is responding to the needs of our students with care experience
  • Improving our understanding of the issues facing students with care experience and enhancing the support available to them by maintaining our current partnerships and building new partnerships with other corporate parenting organisations