Coventry University to offer free accommodation to 10 care leavers

Student accomodation
Student news

Tuesday 05 May 2020

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Coventry University will be offering free accommodation to a number of students who have experienced care.

The new scheme will offer 10 undergraduate students free accommodation for 52 weeks a year at Coventry University-owned student halls for the duration of their course, starting with new students joining in the fresh academic year in September.

Supporting care leavers is an important part of Coventry University’s goals to increase access to higher education to people from underrepresented groups.

Care leavers have often gone straight from care provision to university and may not have a home to return to in the holidays along with limited financial support. The chance to have free accommodation throughout their studies will help to open doors to access higher education.

It is not yet clear if students will be allowed to study on campus in September, but the free accommodation in Coventry University’s own halls would come with broadband to allow them to study remotely if needed.

These are often vulnerable people as they don’t have the same level of financial support, sometimes none at all, as most people who go to university.

“A lot of the time, they’re leaving a care situation for good at 18-years-old and may not have a place to stay for the holiday and this scheme will take away that worry.

Helen Bogusz, Welfare and Disability Support Manager at Coventry University

Coventry University also has a partnership with Santander, which provides £10,000 per year to help fund the students who are care leavers to join the university’s Global Leaders Programme (GLP), which offers trips abroad along with networking opportunities and workshops.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with international travel halted, these students were offered a bursary of £1,000 to help them make ends meet during the outbreak.

Guy Daly, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students, said: "Coventry University prides itself on providing higher education opportunities for everyone who can benefit.

“This includes care leavers, a group that is less likely to progress onto university.

“Therefore, I am really pleased and proud that we are providing this additional support to care leavers so that they are more likely to take up higher education opportunities."

Applications for the scheme are open until 20 July, in line with the deadline for students to apply for halls through the university’s student accommodation company FutureLets.