Support for care-experienced students

Kent offers a wide range of support for care-experienced students.

Please be assured that your care status will be held confidentially unless you choose to share it with others at the university.  

Short video (1 min 15 seconds, closed captions available) of a student explaining how Student Support and Wellbeing helped them during their time at Kent.

Pre-registration support

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. 

Contact Student Support and Wellbeing.

Care Experienced and Estranged Student Travel Bursary

The University of Kent is pleased to offer a Care Experienced and Estranged Student Travel Bursary to ensure that care experienced and estranged students can access open days and offer holder events at the university. This bursary will cover return travel to any of our open days or offer holder events at Canterbury or Medway campus.

To find out more and apply, please complete the Care Experienced and Estranged Student Travel Bursary enquiry form

Insight Visits

An exciting opportunity for care experienced and estranged students and their supporters to come to visit University of Kent’s Canterbury or Medway Campus. They will meet with the Pre-registration Designated Member of Staff and have the opportunity to ask questions about support available at university, accommodation, student finance etc. There will be an opportunity to go on a tour of the campus with a Student Ambassador, who can give insights into university life. Each Insights Visit is bespoke, and requests to see or find out particular things can be discussed.

 To find out more and apply, please complete the Insight Visit enquiry form.

Applicant Event Buddy

For students attending open days or offer holder events alone, we have the opportunity for a student ambassador to meet with you and spend the event with you. They will be able to share insights into university life and answer your questions, as well as attend all your events with you. To find out more, please email Shauna-Aine O'Brien at

Support for care-experienced students once registered

We 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 
  • Accommodation 
  • 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.  

Left: Staff member Shauna-Aine O'Brien. Centre: Staff member Rachel Levy. Right: Staff member Tilly Fisher.

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'

Middle: Rachel Levy is available on Mondays, Tuesdays (all day) and Wednesday mornings. Email:

Right: As Rachel is part-time, you can also contact Tilly Fisher if you need support from Wednesday afternoons to Friday. Email:

Starting university

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. 

Welcome Week

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

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 – this will be £1,000 for each stage of your course (starting from stage 1). It 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:   

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.

Finishing University

Graduation costs

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.

Careers advice

Kent's Careers & Employability services are available for three years post-graduation.

Careers Advice

University Careers & Employability services are available for three years post-graduation. For further information see the Careers and Employability website.  

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