Supporting carers in Wales to achieve their ambitions in higher education
Carers Trust Wales in partnership with all universities and Reaching Wider partnerships in Wales have released Going Higher: A Carer’s Guide to Universities in Wales, a valuable, useful publication for carers of all ages considering higher education.
A study undertaken by Carers Trust and the University of Nottingham in 2013 found that carers were 4 times more likely to drop out of university than students without caring responsibilities. More recently, this summer, a Carers Trust Wales survey on young and young adult carers’ experiences during lockdown found that 36% of young adult carers say that their education is suffering, impacting on their hopes and opportunities for the future. This evidence shows that carers of all ages need to access additional support to allow them to thrive in their educational goals.
As part of our Going Higher project, funded by The Waterloo Foundation, Carers Trust Wales worked with all 9 universities in Wales and all 3 Reaching Wider partnerships to put in place simple systems and policies which have had a positive, sustainable impact on the outcomes and experiences of carers in higher education in Wales. This work has had a fantastic impact on carers who are attending university and accessing support. A student at Bangor University has said:
“Being a full-time carer and a full-time student is tough and it takes a special kind of person, but the University staff are extremely supportive and will do all they can to make it a little bit easier.”
Our work in partnership with all higher education institutions in Wales has culminated in the launch of our impactful publication “Going Higher: A carer’s guide to universities in Wales” which provides unpaid carers of all ages with the information they need to consider applying to study at university. Simon Hatch, director of Carers Trust Wales, emphasized the importance of this resource:
‘Many young people continue caring for a family member or friend while away at University, but many are put off and worry about leaving home and leaving their caring role. This guide gives information, advice and support which help carers recognise the opportunities and support available to them if they do decide to move onto Higher Education.”
This resource is the first of its kind to offer holistic information about the support available to carers applying to university, before admission and during their time in higher education. We hope that the guide will be an incredibly useful tool for any organisation working with carers, including schools, colleges and charities supporting people with their educational aspirations.
Through this guide we aim to inform and encourage countless more carers to broaden their horizons and to feel confident that with support they can succeed at university.
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Welsh Language press release is available here.