Students who don’t have the support of a family network are to be awarded £5000 scholarships, the University of Edinburgh has announced.
The University has committed to providing increased financial assistance for all UK students as part of its Stand Alone Pledge.
The University recently signed up to the Pledge, which demonstrates its wider commitment to supporting estranged students.
The Pledge encourages universities to provide support for estranged students across four main areas; outreach, financial support, accommodation, and mental health.
As part of the pledge the University will award £5000 per year, from September 2020, to any UK domiciled student who is care experienced or estranged from their family.
Students who study without the support or approval of a family network face particular challenges and barriers in accessing higher education.
The higher education drop-out rate of students without family support is three times higher than the average student.
The University has included estranged students in its programme of support for care leavers and care-experienced students for a number of years.
The Edinburgh Cares Committee was established at the University in 2018 in order to oversee support for care-experienced and estranged students and student carers across the University.
The University provides bespoke advice and support for estranged young people interested in studying at the University of Edinburgh.
When students begin studying they are provide with named contacts who can provide tailored advice and support.
Students who qualify for the scholarships will be identified through the UCAS application system.
Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, said: “The University of Edinburgh is committed to ensuring opportunities for all individuals. We aspire to be both a world-leading centre of academic excellence and a place of opportunity for a diverse group of students, including those from some of the most deprived communities and under-represented groups in Scotland. Students who are estranged from their families, who are studying without the support or approval of a family network, should not be held back from succeeding in Higher Education.”