UWS has brought together a number of initiatives and renewed commitments to support some of its more vulnerable students.
We have a proud track record of removing barriers to higher education, has combined sponsorship, training activities and pledges to demonstrate the University’s continued support for its students as well as to ensure that it is a model of good practice in this area.
UWS is just the third university in Scotland to formally commit to the Stand Alone Pledge, which supports estranged students. The University was recently a high-level sponsor and major supporter of Action Against Stalking’s first UK-wide conference, and has now made provision for staff training to support its role as a Corporate Parent.
The charity Stand Alone aims to aid people of all ages who become estranged or disowned from their family or key family member. Young people who are estranged from their families are likely to be under-represented within the student population, and those who do navigate the application process are more vulnerable to withdrawal from higher education than other groups of students.
UWS’ focus is on helping all its students to succeed and to thrive during their time at the University and it closely engages with all applicants from vulnerable groups, such as estranged students, and makes sure that it is able to support them all the way through their UWS journey. From student mentoring, formal student support services and informal peer support networks to senior staff training and awareness, support for a wide variety of students from a range of backgrounds is at the heart of the UWS experience.
The University currently has the largest number of care leavers in Scottish Higher Education and is widely recognised in the sector for the quality of high-level support and guidance it provides this group.
The University, which works in close partnership with local authorities, schools, colleges and other higher education institutions to increase the number of vulnerable groups progressing to university, is currently in the process of developing a detailed action plan to formalise the support it offers to estranged students.
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said:
“At UWS we are committed to providing higher education opportunities for everyone and we are delighted to be working with charities and other organisations to help remove barriers to higher education and academic success. All activities delivered by UWS are inclusive and our aim is to raise awareness of the opportunities available and the benefits of higher education. We realise that pupils from families that have no history of further or higher education face many additional barriers to learning and this includes estranged students who have no family contacts. At UWS we work very hard to ensure that we provide a range of information, advice and guidance before, during and after a student’s time at UWS to support them on their learning journey and beyond.”