Help available to care leavers

This article will inform you of the support available to students who are Care Leavers before coming to University.

The University of Portsmouth has signed up to the Care Leaver Covenant as part of its commitment to ensuring that students leaving care are supported in their application to higher education and throughout their time at University. If you have been in care or looked after by a Local Authority you may be entitled to our additional support package which includes:

Care Leavers' Bursary

An award of £1,700 a year if you're a full-time undergraduate or taught postgraduate UK student and any of the following applies:

  • You've spent at least 13 weeks in care, some of which was during your teens, and you're leaving the care system in the 12 months before you start university

  • You're a 'former relevant child pursuing education' – this usually means you've spent at least 13 weeks in care, some of which was during your teens, but may depend on your local authority

Recipients can also receive the University Bursary of £750 a year.

Guaranteed year-round accommodation

We guarantee Care Leavers accommodation in halls of residence all year round, so you don't have to worry about finding somewhere to live over the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. You'll need to cover the cost of your accommodation yourself.

A designated advisor

You'll get a designated member of staff who'll advise and guide you on your support needs the whole time you're at University.

When you start your course, they'll make sure you have all the information you need to access the student support services including help with academic, disability and wellbeing needs.

Your designated advisor can also:

  • Do a 'health check' on your finances

  • Help you create a budget and plan your spending

  • Help you access continued local authority support

You'll receive a newsletter every term so you can stay up-to-date with opportunities and events to enhance your university experience.

Finding employment

As a Care Leaver, you're guaranteed an interview for a role as a University Student Ambassador.

Being a Student Ambassador is a great way to earn extra cash while promoting the benefits of university to prospective students. You'll work at events such as Open Days and higher education fairs.

You'll also get priority status on our Careers and Employability Mentoring Scheme. You'll get expert, tailored advice on getting a job and developing your career from our Careers and Employability service. This advice is available throughout your course and for 5 years after you graduate.

Eligibility for Care Leaver support

You can get most of this Care Leaver support if you've lived in care at any stage of your life. But one of the following will need to apply to you to access some of this support:

  • You've spent at least 13 weeks in care, some of which was during your teens, and you're leaving the care system in the 12 months before you start university

  • You're a 'former relevant child pursuing education' - this usually means you've spent at least 13 weeks in care, some of which was during your teens, but may depend on your local authority

If you're unsure of your eligibility, to apply for the Care Leavers Bursary, or any other additional information please email careleavers@port.ac.uk or phone 023 9284 3044.