The University of Greenwich has a long and proud tradition of providing life-changing opportunities to men and women from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.Seventy percent of our students are from local London boroughs, half from ethnic minorities and a large number from families where nobody has previously attended university.
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The challenges facing a young person in public care seeking a place in higher education are radically different to those of the vast majority of students. They may have no settled family background, they may be outside normal educational support structures and they may not have a support network to fall back on during the course of their studies and vacations. The university already offers as much support as resources allow for care leavers yet only six percent of care leavers reach the stage where they actually apply to higher education. We need to encourage and support all those young people with potential to continue their studies in a way which suits them best. Additional funding for care leavers will allow for the creation of a three year project comprised of both pre-entry and on-programme strands which will run simultaneously. The project will maximise the potential for care leavers to progress and thrive in higher education. The project will offer logistical, emotional and practical support to young people in care, specified to the individual, encouraging them to maximise their potential. The pre-entry programme will utilise student mentors under the guidance of a co-ordinator, a method which has proven to be highly successful in the past. The on-programme project strand will build on the mentoring aspect, guiding students through their academic career at the university and for a year after graduation. This strand will consolidate the work that is already done with declared care leavers into a dedicated consultancy and also provide personal tutoring if required.
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