Breaking down barriers to higher education for care leavers

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A Liverpool student is drawing on his own experiences to help disadvantaged young people access a range of support schemes on offer at the University.

Liam, a second year BA (Hons) Business Management student, who is care experienced and went on to be estranged from his family, received practical and pastoral support from the University’s Widening Participation and Outreach team, enabling him to progress into undergraduate study. The University has since continued to support Liam pastorally and also through a bursary.

Liam said: “The £3,000 bursary provided to care leavers and estranged students is extremely generous and is allowing me to live a very comfortable student life. You will have enough money to attend as many social events as you want and you will be able to afford to pay for that new phone or laptop you might need.” 

Liam received support from the Disrupted Education Programme prior to starting at the University of Liverpool and describes this and the University’s support for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people as transformational. He is now a Student Advocate for these programmes, acting as a role model for other care experienced and estranged young people to follow in his footsteps into the university.

He said: “Support and guidance is always available to all students. The Widening Participation team will make sure you get the help and support to resolve any issues you have – for example, I was given priority access to University accommodation which relieved the anxiety I had about being a first year.

“The University of Liverpool gave me that extra-support, guidance and helping hand. You will grow and develop so much in your first year at Liverpool so if you get the opportunity, grab it with both hands.”

Head and shoulders shot of student

BA (Hons) Business Management student Liam

Liam, who is passionate about higher education opportunities being accessible to all, also speaks highly of the student environment at the University, adding: “Liverpool is just amazing, it is really the place to apply to if you are a person who values diversity and equality.”

The Widening Participation and Outreach team and wider University is committed to working with and supporting care experienced students and those who have faced a disrupted education, both prior to entry and throughout their studies at the University. The team seeks to engage with young people who have the potential to progress to university, but due to disruptions within their education, may face barriers when considering higher education.

Find out more here.