Please be assured that your care status will be held confidentially unless you choose to share it with others at the university.
We can answer any queries you have about the University, and can also make arrangements for you to visit if you would like to have a look around before term starts.
We will contact all students who have ticked the care-experienced box on their UCAS form informing them of the support available. The University will only share this information with those who need to be informed, e.g. the member of staff who supports care leavers post-registration.
You can request a meeting with the care leaver support staff and your Personal Advisor before you start at the University, or at any time during your degree, to ensure you are receiving all the support that would be helpful for you.
Support for care-experienced students once registered
have a dedicated member of staff in our Wellbeing Team whose role is to
provide both practical and emotional support to all care-experienced students. She can help you with any questions you might have about any
aspect of being at university including:
- Emotional Wellbeing
- Financial Support
- Learning Support
The member of staff for care-experienced students can make contact with your PA on your behalf if you would like them to, and they can also attend meetings with you and your PA if they visit you at the university.
Although coming to university can be an exciting time, it can also be quite a challenging time for many students, so it is really important to look after your emotional wellbeing and to seek support if you feel that you are struggling.
Before you start your degree, please contact Shauna with your questions. Once you are registered and have started your course, Rachel will support you.
Left: Shauna-Aine O'Brien will help with any questions before you start your degree. Email: S.T.J.O'Brien@kent.ac.uk
Middle: Rachel Levy is available on Mondays, Tuesdays (all day) and Wednesday mornings. Email: email@example.com
Right: As Rachel is part-time, you can also contact Tilly Fisher if you need support from Wednesday afternoons to Friday. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration and moving into your accommodation
Arrivals Weekend takes place on the first weekend before term starts. During this weekend, you will formally register as a new student at the university, and you will move into your campus accommodation.
The first week offers you the chance to get to know your new environment, your housemates, and the services provided at the university; you will also have introductory meetings in your Academic School.
Welcome Fair takes place during this week, where you get to see the range of university clubs and societies on offer.
We have a peer-led Facebook group for all care experienced students which you are welcome to join.
If you would like to live in university accommodation for each year of your degree, then you will be able to do so. You can also stay on campus throughout the year, including the holiday periods. You will need to sign up to vacation accommodation in May to make sure that you secure the extended accommodation for the summer holidays.
If your off campus accommodation provider requires a Rent Guarantor, then you should contact your Personal Adviser to see if the local authority can provide this for you. Alternatively, there is also a scheme at the university.
To book accommodation on campus during the summer holiday, please email email@example.com
To book accommodation on campus for subsequent years, please go to your accommodation portal on the accommodation webpage.
In both cases, please specify that you are a care leaver so that the accommodation office is aware of this.
Tuition fee funding
Most students apply to Student Finance England for help with costs associated with attending university. It is best to apply for Student Finance as early as possible to ensure funds are in place for the start of the academic year. If you require help with making the application or in receiving your funding, you can contact the Kent Union Advice Service.
Any loan you borrow from Student Finance England is repayable only when you have graduated and are earning above a threshold income.
For full details we suggest you visit the Student Loan Company's website.
Local authority funding
You will be entitled to a one-off Higher Education Bursary of £2,000 from your Local Authority, as well as other financial support. The amount of any additional support paid differs according to which Local Authority you have been looked after by, but your social worker or personal adviser will be able to give you more details.
Additional funding support
Kent offers a one-off
cash bursary to care-experienced students in their first year at Kent, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.
You should also be entitled to the Kent Financial Support Package – the amount is subject to change but is usually between £1,000 and £1,500 at each stage of your course (starting from stage 1), and is paid in two instalments, in December and March.
If you are experiencing financial hardship you can considered for an Emergency Loan or for the Access to Learning Fund (a grant which would not have to be repaid).
If you need to work part time to supplement your income, Kent Union offers a Job Shop that you can register with to help find employment.
Support services at Kent
Student Support and Wellbeing
This service provides support to students in the following areas:
- Mental Health
- Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADHD
- Physical Disability
- Medical conditions
Advisers can write support plants known as Inclusive Learning Plans (ILPs) for students who have evidence of a diagnosed condition. This information will be passed to their academic school. They can also advise on additional support such as study skills and mentoring.
University Medical Centre & Nursing Service
Most students register with the University Medical Centre, which is just at the edge of the campus. We also have a 24-hour nursing service during term time, which includes an out of hours mental health adviser.
Student Learning and Advisory Service
This service provides individual and group support for those needing guidance to study at higher education level. They help with a variety of topics such as essay writing, referencing and revision skills. See the SLAS website for more information.
Kent Union Advice Centre
The Student Unions at Medway and Canterbury have Advice Centres that offer free, confidential, and impartial advice on a wide range of issues such as funding, housing, academic concerns, immigration, financial hardship, and more.
For full details on the advice provided and how to access the services visit the Kent Union website for Canterbury campus, or GKSU website for Medway campus.
The Student Unions also offer a wide range of other services/support, including representation, volunteering, sports & societies, licensed trade outlets, and much more.
We may be able to help with graduation costs. You will be contacted directly regarding this when you are approaching graduation.
Local authority support after graduation
If you are under 25 years old, you should still be able to receive support from your Local Authority. Contact your Personal Adviser who can provide further information.
Kent's Careers & Employability services are available for three years post-graduation.
University Careers & Employability services are available for three years post-graduation. For further information see the Careers and Employability website.