Canterbury Christ Church University is the first university in the region to partner with the Unite Foundation to support care leaver and estranged students with free year-round University accommodation over three years.

Building on the University’s existing commitment to care-experienced students, three new scholarships will be provided for students starting in September 2024.

With a high probability of domestic and educational disruption, care-experienced and estranged students can be at a significant disadvantage when it comes to accessing university and being able to complete their degree.

The Unite Foundation is an independent charity that runs a nationwide accommodation scholarship. The scholarship takes care of students’ accommodation and bills for up to three years and the charity currently works with 31 university partners across England and Scotland.

In 2022, independent research evidenced that Unite Foundation scholarship students progress from 1st to 2nd year of study at the same rate as non-care leaver students, complete their degree closer to the rate of non-care leavers and are within 3 percentage points of non-care leaver students in getting 1st or 2:1 class degrees.

Jayme Stevens, the University’s Strategic Lead for Access and Participation, spoke about the importance of the scholarship.

“These latest scholarships reenforce our commitment to supporting the more vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community to succeed,” he said.

“We currently have a strong package of support in place for care leavers, which this will add to, and it is especially important during the cost-of-living crisis – this award will be an enormous benefit to our Unite Foundation scholarship students, who can focus on making the most of their University experience and reaching their full academic potential.

“We know through our outreach work how complicated life can be for these students so we can’t wait to meet our new students and help them to make CCCU a place to call home for the next three years.”

“Canterbury Christchurch University is committed to improving the journey to, and through, university for care leavers and estranged students and we are very happy to welcome the university and 3 more students onto the Unite Foundation scholarship scheme. Together we can build on our pioneering research to make the case for a rent-free #HomeAtUniversity for all estranged and care experienced students.” – Fiona Ellison, Director, Unite Foundation.

The University is also an official Care Leaver Covenant institution. Find out more about the Unite Foundation and how to apply.