Care experienced students, student carers and estranged students

We have a proud history of supporting students from care-experienced backgrounds, student carers and estranged students into higher education.

The University’s Corporate Parenting Plan outlines the support available for individuals of all ages with an experience of care, with the aim of being the most welcoming, nurturing and positive learning environment possible. Whether a query concerns community outreach, organizing a campus visit, applicant or in-study support, the Widening Participation team is available to provide guidance.   

When you’re in care, [teachers, social workers, foster parents] expect the least of you. I decided I want to be something more than what is expected of me.

School of Applied Sciences student

What does the term care-experienced mean?

The term ‘care-experienced’ refers to having been looked after by a local authority at some point (in the past the term ‘care leaver’ may have been used). Care may have been provided in one or more of the following settings:

  • in residential care;
  • in foster care (through a local authority or charity/agency);
  • in kinship care (with grandparents or other family members);
  • looked after at home (Compulsory Supervision Order with no condition of residence);
  • in a secure residential home;
  • living with adoptive parents (or with prospective adoption parents);
  • in another community setting.

A lot of the time people who may have experienced a relatively short placement in care, for example in early childhood, may not be fully aware of their care-experienced status, so if you have any questions, please get in touch. 

What does the term estranged mean?

An estranged person is someone who no longer has the support of their family due to a breakdown in their relationship which has led to ceased contact. This might mean your biological or adoptive parents or wider family members who have been responsible for supporting you in the past.

What does the term student carer mean?

A student carer is an individual who gives physical or emotional support, on a regular basis, to someone who could not manage without such support.  This could be for a relative, partner or friend who has a long-term physical or mental illness, addiction, disability, or is too frail to look after themselves.

How we support care-experienced and estranged learners

The University can support care-experienced and estranged learners in a variety of ways, including:

  • providing contact with a dedicated member of staff during the admissions stage, and throughout studies,
  • adjusting offers to study to take into account the additional barriers which individuals may have experienced, 
  • providing a full-year (52 week) rental agreement option for the University’s student accommodation. 

We also provide dedicated financial support for care-experienced students in the form of the University’s Care-Experienced Bursary.

The University’s Corporate Parenting plan outlines the support available for applicants and students at Edinburgh Napier - find out more here. A summary of the types of care placements under the broad term care-experience can be found here.

Details of the support we offer for estranged students can be downloaded here.

How we support student carers

The University can support care-experienced and estranged learners in a variety of ways, including:

  • providing contact with a dedicated member of staff during the admissions stage, and throughout studies, 
  • adjusting offers to study to take into account the additional barriers which individuals may have experienced.

Additional Information

Edinburgh Napier is a founding partner of the Hub for SUCCESS, a dedicated resource for care-experienced individuals of all ages and for professionals who offer guidance in the South East region of Scotland.

SAAS provide a Care-Experienced Student Bursary and Summer Accommodation Grant. Unlike a student loan, this does not have to be repaid after graduation.

Information on applying to SAAS as an estranged student can be found here.


Get in touch

If you've got any questions about how we can help you come to University, please send us an email. Dr Peter Tormey is the contact for care-experienced students, student carers and estranged students, and he can answer any questions you have.