University of Cumbria
Widening Participation Access Officer
The information on this page was last updated on 18 January 2019.
The details of support available can change, so before you apply it's best to speak to the named contact to check exactly what they offer.
A big warm hello from the University of Cumbria! Here at the university we have gone from strength to strength in our work supporting care leavers. We are winners of the National Education Opportunities Network Access Initiative of the Year Award 2015, and the Educate North Access Award 2016, for our dedication to care leavers. Also, we have previously held the Buttle UK Quality Mark, which expired in June 2017 following the end of the Quality Mark Scheme.
We have our two dedicated contacts – Rachael Boyce and Mel Bakey – who can support you right from the minute you decide to apply to the university, through to graduation and beyond. If you feel you need 365-day accommodation, we have the facility for you at all our major campuses (Lancaster, Ambleside and Fusehill Street, Carlisle).
Here at the University of Cumbria we keep our class sizes small; you will not simply be another number whilst studying with us, but you will be an individual supported at the highest level to obtain a fantastic degree. With the support of our career services we also offer support for up to three years post graduation, so you can flourish in your chosen occupation.
We work with community groups, foster parents and social services to give workshops about higher education in the community.
Support we offer?
- A named contact
- Outreach sessions or activities
- Pre-application help
- Guidance for offer holders
- A web page for care leavers
- Careers advice and support after graduation
Accommodation we offer?
- A place to live all year round
- If not, help finding somewhere to live for the whole year
Funding support we offer?
- Specific funding that's just for care leavers
- Additional funding available (such as bursaries and grants)
- Support for students seeking asylum
- Support for those with discretionary leave to remain
- Financial advice
We want all care leavers who choose to come to the University of Cumbria to feel supported, and that you can manage independently. We offer money advice and support prior to joining us at the university and throughout your time studying. Our dedicated team are always on hand to offer support and help you cope financially whilst studying at university.
The university also awards a Cumbria bursary worth £3,000 in total – £1,000 per year for a maximum of three years, and a further bursary award for courses with integrated foundation years worth £4,000 in total – £1,000 per year for a maximum of four years. Part-time awards are also available. Please see the scholarships and bursaries page of our website for more information: https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/study/student-finance/scholarships-and-bursaries
Care leavers under the age of 25 are given high priority for the Cumbria bursary, if they have indicated on their UCAS application that they have left or are leaving local authority care. There is no need to apply for the Cumbria bursary. Instead, we find the information we need from your Student Finance application. So if you would like to be considered for the bursary, please make sure you have completed your Student Finance application nice and early, and ticked the box that allows the university to see your information.
Specific criteria will apply, and awards to students living outside of England may be subject to government guidance and regulations. Our financial support may change over time, and it is best to check our website for the most up-to-date information.
Our hardship fund is available to students who are experiencing severe financial difficulty, or who have unexpected financial emergencies. The fund is intended to help with essential living costs only. Care leavers have priority access to our hardship fund.