The University's commitment to welcoming and supporting applicants and students with experience of being 'in care' has been recognised with a special award.
The Buttle UK Quality Mark is awarded to further and higher education providers by Buttle UK, the UK charity set up to give more young people the power to shape their own future.
The charity commended the University’s “strong commitment” to developing its support for care leavers, reflected in its action plan.
Professor Peter McGeorge, Vice-Principal for Learning and Teaching, oversees the University’s programme to make a university experience achievable to young people who through circumstance may never have considered this possible
“Obtaining this accreditation was a target in our work plan,” explained Professor McGeorge. “We have a great team committed to this work, and this is testament to their efforts and commitment to continually improving the support we can provide.”
Included in the action plan is work with the two regional local authorities to identify potential applicants and support them through the application process, including campus visits and tours. Personalised support is offered throughout the years of study, including accommodation available all year round, guidance on managing finances and on career options, and special arrangements at family-focused events and celebrations such as graduation.
The Buttle UK Quality Mark was introduced in 2006 to provide a framework to improve and accredit support for Looked After Children and Care Leavers in Further and Higher Education. The Quality Mark recognises and celebrates the work institutions do to raise aspirations among children and young people in, and leaving, care, and helps them access and succeed in college, university and beyond.
Buttle UK - named after social visionary Frank Buttle who dedicated his life to helping disadvantaged children - has been helping children and young people in need across the UK since 1953. Direct support is based on individual need, either to overcome immediate crisis or ensure the best possible chance of a successful education. The charity also looks at strategic ways to improve the life chances of young people in need, by influencing opinion formers, policy makers and practitioners through research projects and initiatives like the Quality Mark for Care Leavers in Further and Higher Education.