Student Carer Research

“…you want to better yourself and do care deeply about passing the course but also you need additional time as life is hard as a carer.” Student Carer

For unpaid carers of all ages and stages of their learning journey, studying at college and university presents unique challenges. Decisions, such as whether or not to move away from the person they care for, can make even applying to college and university difficult for student carers. Demands on time can make attending class, completing coursework and socialising challenging for student carers.


With support, student carers can and do succeed in their college and university studies. The research report makes recommendations and suggestions for colleges and universities to implement to better support student carers. 

For more information about student carers experiences, and how to support them read The Student Carer Experience in Scotland report

Download The Student Carer Experience in Scotland key findings poster 


One of the recommendations we made in our report was more financial support for student carers. We recommended that Carer’s Allowance eligibility should be extended to include unpaid carers who are studying for 21 hours or more.

Over the past few years, one of our policy and influencing work focuses in Scotland has been around devolved carer benefits. We are an active member of Scottish Government’s Carers Benefit Advisory Group and Young Carer Grant Working group, and have assisted Scottish Government through its consultation exercises.

Carer Support Payment (which will replace Carer’s Allowance) is being rolled out in phases across local authority areas in Scotland and will be available all across Scotland by Autumn 2024.

In March 2023, the Scottish Government announced their commitment to extend entitlement to those unpaid carers over 20 years old in full-time education at any level from launch in 2024. Furthermore, they have also committed to extend entitlement to those aged 16 to 19 in full-time advanced further and higher education from launch in 2024.

We are extremely pleased that our recommendation will be taken forward by Scottish Government and real progress around carer benefits in Scotland will take place.