June 11 2019 @ 9:35 by Richard Dawson
Many young people across the North East have aspirations of going to university but are not supported by their families and loved ones to do so.
The University of Sunderland is making efforts to ensure this is no longer a barrier to accessing higher education.
From September 2019, the university will offer a We Care scholarship to marginalised young people across the region, worth £2000 per year.
Commenting on the scheme, Wendy Price, access to higher educations and scholarships manager at the university said: “We recognise the additional challenges faced by our care experienced and estranged students and are committed to providing the highest possible levels of support.
“This increased funding for students will mean that each student receives an additional scholarship payment during the summer period, which we know is a time when many can experience financial difficulties.
“Our aim is for every single one of our students to achieve their full potential during their time at university. We consult regularly with our students and they have told us the difference this additional funding will make, not just financially, but also to their mental health and wellbeing.”
Alongside the financial support is the We Care support team who will meet with each of these students to produce a bespoke support plan.
Based on individual need, the support plan will help students find things like accommodation and part time work alongside their studies.
This year, Government ministers stressed the importance of encouraging more care leavers to stay in higher education.
Currently, just six per cent of young people leaving care go on to study at university, and those who do so are more likely to drop out.
This new scheme by the University of Sunderland provides support to such students so that they can get their degrees.