Good news for young carers applying to university
At the University of Sheffield, we firmly believe that having caring responsibilities shouldn't prevent young people from achieving their goals. We supported the recent campaign for a UCAS tick box by the Carers Trust and are thrilled that it has been successful. UCAS are now committed to adding a tick box to application forms by 2018.
A young carer is a child or young person who provides substantial care for a family member (or members) that has a chronic illness, mental health issues, a disability, and/or substance misuse issues. The campaign attracted over 2,500 signatures in just six weeks and was led by a 21 year old student carer, Carol Hayward. Estimates suggest student carers are highly under-represented in HE. According to recent research the drop-out rate for young adult carers was four times greater than the national average for degree courses. (Sempik, J and Becker, S, 2014).
That’s why it’s crucial for young carers to identify themselves when applying. Students applying currently can do this through their UCAS personal statement or ‘disrupted studies’ form. We can then help them access our enhanced bursary of £4,500 per year (2016 applicants). Bursaries can be used for a wide range of support options, including reducing tuition fee costs and respite care. Student carers can also get support and guidance from a named contact throughout their student journey.
Kate Smith, Outreach Officer said:
'This fantastic news is the highlight of a great year. As well as supporting this campaign we participated in national Carers Week, with our Student Carer Champions encouraging everyone to ‘take a break with cake’. It was also a huge honour for the University to be recognised with a ’Caring for Carers’ award, presented by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. Looking to the future, we’ll be launching a video for young carers about the support we can offer them, later this year.'