Scotland’s universities to offer guaranteed places to care experienced applicants

Date: 25th July 2019
Category: Looked after children, Education, including vocational education, Non-discrimination

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From September, applicants with care experience will be guaranteed an undergraduate place at university if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

The joint commitment by 18 Scottish universities, announced on 25th July 2019, is part of a collective push to boost the number of students with care experience in higher education. Figures released in June revealed less than 5% of care experienced young people went into higher education after leaving school, compared with 41% of all school leavers.

The universities have agreed to make the offers to  “anyone who has been, or is currently in care, or from a looked-after background at any stage of their life, no matter how short, including adopted children who were previously looked-after”, with no age restrictions.

The guarantee follows a move by universities earlier in the year to set new minimum entry requirements which now apply to applications from care experienced people and people living in the most deprived 20% of areas across Scotland (SIMD20).  

Who Cares? Scotland chief executive Duncan Dunlop said the guarantee recognised the barriers care-experienced people faced in accessing higher education, and that effective implementation “will require a whole sector approach that sees corporate parents understanding the guaranteed offer, signposting university as a valid option and supporting care-experienced people through the process to apply and succeed.”