New scholarships allow students leaving care to live rent free

22 Feb 2024
Accommodation blocks with students outside

Students who are care leavers or are estranged from their families can now apply for one of six new scholarships which will allow them to live rent-free for three years at the University of Winchester.  

The six Unite Foundation Scholarships are open to students starting an undergraduate degree at Winchester, excluding a foundation year, in September 2024. 

The new offer is the result of a new partnership between the University and the Unite Foundation, a charity that supports care leavers and estranged students through its nationwide scholarship scheme. 

Scholarship students will also receive a designated student adviser from the University plus ongoing support from Unite Foundation. 

The Unite Foundation Scholarship aims to give the recipients a sense of security and stability throughout their studies by removing the burden of looking for new accommodation each year and easing anxiety over rising living costs.  

The scholarship, open to applicants aged 25 or under, covers year-round accommodation, including holidays, in a university hall of residence. 

The new partnership with the Unite Foundation expands the University of Winchester’s long-standing commitment to helping Children in Care, Care Leavers and Care-Experienced and Estranged students. 

Between 2017 and 2023 Winchester has provided bursary support packages to 77 eligible care leaver students and 48 eligible estranged students. 

Dr Lesley Black, Director of Student Support and Success at the University of Winchester, said: “We are delighted to be able to work with Unite Foundation to enhance our support for care-experienced and estranged students.  

“We know that having a safe, and secure, place to call home can positively impact upon a student's ability to engage with and succeed in their studies and this is especially important for some students from care-experienced or estranged backgrounds. We are committed to ensuring all students, regardless of their personal circumstances, have the best opportunity to achieve their academic potential." 

The Unite Foundation offers similar scholarships at 31 other UK universities and more than 700 students have received support in the decade since the scheme began. 

In 2022, independent research found that Unite Foundation scholarship students: 

Fiona Ellison, Director at Unite Foundation, said: “The University of Winchester is committed to improving the journey to, and through, university for care leavers and estranged students and we are very happy to welcome the University and six more students onto the Unite Foundation scholarship scheme. Together we can build on our pioneering research to make the case for a rent-free #HomeAtUniversity for all estranged and care experienced students.”  

Visit  Unite Foundation Scholarship at the University of Winchester to find out more. 

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