two staff members in a cafeteria holding cups of tea smiling with blue gradient over top

Care Experienced Students

At University Centre Leeds we want everyone who wants to do a degree to be able to and are committed to helping care leavers access higher education. 

We understand that young people leaving the care system may face challenges and may have very different concerns about starting a degree than other students. We are committed to improving care experienced students' choices and are here to help them through application, finance, accommodation, enrolment and right through the course. 

What support is available at University Centre Leeds?

To help you make informed decisions about your higher education and degree choices, we can offer: 

  • Personalised tours; 
  • Foster Family / Care Experienced Taster Days; 
  • 1:1 Application support; 
  • Contextual admissions. 

To help support new students leaving care to start full time higher education at University Centre Leeds, we offer the following financial support: 

  • Care Experienced Student Bursary (up to £1000 awarded by University Centre Leeds); 
  • Supporting the cost of interview travel and/or on-course materials (where applicable – up to 50% of costs); 
  • Supporting the cost of graduation gown hire and photographs (up to 50% of costs). 
  • University Centre Leeds can act as a guarantor for your student accommodation agreements. 

Other support offered to care leavers include: 

  • Nominated care experienced student support from the University Centre Leeds HE Welfare and Student Engagement Officer and /or a Named contact from within the Safeguarding Team; 
  • Buddying and/or mentoring schemes; 
  • HE Counselling and Mental Health Officer. 

If you would like to discuss your concerns further, please contact our Admissions Team at

Care Experienced and Estranged Students' Guide 

Support in Leeds For Care Leavers 

There is Local Authority financial support available including paying towards accommodation and living costs. 

Please go to for more information or contact Leeds City Council on 0113 378 9988 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or at 


In Leeds there is a range of services for care leavers provided by the local authority, health and third sector agencies. These include: 

Within the Looked After Children Service there are teams who work with young people over the age of 13. When the young person is 16, social workers in the team support them to develop the pathway plan; from age 18, personal advisers are allocated to support the young person into adulthood and to ensure the pathway plan is carried forward. Key aspects of the role is to ensure care leavers are living in suitable accommodation, engaged in education, employment or training and they keep in regular contact.

Care Leavers who have been living in fostering placements now have increased access to ‘Staying Put’ arrangements where they stay living with their foster carer following their 18th birthday. There is also an accommodation hub to ensure that the range of accommodation available is used effectively to meet the care leaver’s needs. This includes trainer flats with floating support or non-supported tenancies. 

care leavers have targeted Information, Advice and Guidance to support them to access an offer that is right for them. As a city, Leeds is aiming to achieve the Care2Work quality mark which recognises best practice and is awarded to local authorities and employers who demonstrate their commitment to building the employability skills of children in care and care leavers. It covers areas such as traineeships, apprenticeships, jobs within the council, access to Further Education and Higher Education and volunteering.

health providers work in partnership with care leavers and with their social workers, personal advisers and other practitioners working with them, to ensure they access the right health services to meet their needs.

a dedicated welfare rights worker supports care leavers to identify and access their entitlements for 18-25 year olds and work with other practitioners to support their knowledge and understanding.

We also feature on: 

We have recently been awarded the NNECL Quality mark, an accreditation which demonstrates our support for care experienced students. Learn more. 


Logo Dca Tass The Open University Logo (1) Qaa Logo Greenjpg Low Tef 2023 Silver Logo (1) Logo Mixed Economy Group Logo Member Qaa Logo Ofsted Logo Nnecl