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Published, 15 January 2020

Funding council sets out national ambition to increase opportunities for care experienced students

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has published (14 January 2020) a new National Ambition for Care-Experienced Students aimed at increasing the number of care experienced students at Scotland’s colleges and universities.

For a number of reasons, young people with care experience do not go straight onto college or university from school in the same numbers as young people without care experience. There are a variety of initiatives being taken forward across institutions to increase their access to college and university and provide support to potential students. These include a guaranteed offer of a university place for care experienced students who meet minimum entry requirements, and Scotland’s care experienced bursary.

CELCIS, commissioned by the SFC, carried out research into the barriers and enablers that care experienced students encounter in going to and being at Scottish colleges and universities in which students identified access to practical, emotional and financial support based on their needs as crucial to their studies.

Now the Scottish Funding Council has published an ambition to see students with care experience make up at least 1.6% of the total number of students at college, and 1.4% of Scottish-domiciled undergraduate entrants at university, by the start of the 2022-23 academic year.

Jennifer Davidson, Executive Director CELCIS, welcomed the move and said: 'This aspirational National Ambition offers us a roadmap for ensuring that all care experienced students can enjoy their time, and fulfil their potential, in further and higher education. Along with implementing the recommendations from recent CELCIS research, which are drawn directly from the voice and views of care experienced students, meeting this ambition has the potential to ensure that every student –especially those who have faced real disadvantage--has equity of access to their educational opportunities.'

The National Ambition also sets targets for reducing the gap in educational outcomes between care experienced students and those who are not care experienced; with an overall vision for equal learning outcomes for all students by 2030.

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