Our 5 year plan
If we haven’t met before, the Unite Foundation is a charity that runs a nationwide scholarship scheme, supporting estranged and care experienced students with a free #HomeAtUniversity. Our mission is that with a stable home taken care of, Unite Foundation students feel able to make the most of everything university has to offer and complete their degree. Our vision is that rent-free accommodation for estranged and care experienced students is provided as standard support across all UK universities.
In 2022, we turned 10 – thank you to everyone who has supported us on our journey so far. As we hit this milestone we took a look back at our shared achievements to date and looked ahead to what more needs to be done to support estranged and care experienced students at university.
We have identified 3 key themes and related goals we are working towards:
+ A home at university
For all estranged and care experienced students to have the choice to go to university safe in the knowledge that they will have a secure home.
Our students say that having a safe and secure home at university means they can make the most of the full university experience. In 2022 we commissioned a major piece of research to understand the impact of the scholarship and we now have strong evidence that the scholarship helps estranged and care experienced students to progress all the way through university and complete their degree at almost the same rate as any other student. In other words, what we do works.
We are developing links with other funders and university partners to provide more scholarships – this year we’re working with Dulverton Trust, the Portal Trust and Astra Foundation. We’ll be building our evidence base and working to develop consistent data across the sector, to make the case for the provision of a home at university for all estranged and care experienced students.
The goal is that free accommodation for estranged and care experienced students is provided as standard support across all UK universities.
For all estranged and care experienced students to feel united by a sense of community.
This will be something that takes shape over time, led by students themselves, naturally.
Working hand in hand with the student community we have been steadily growing a safe and private online space for estranged and care experienced students across the country and there are over 700 members signed up so far, along with a growing number of virtual and real life events, organised by the community, taking place across the UK.
The goal is that estranged and care experienced students feel better connected, become recognised in wider society without stigma and can pull together when they want to, to effect change that will benefit all estranged and care experienced people in Higher Education.
+ Removing housing roadblocks
For students to drive change in higher education so that all estranged and care experienced students can secure and maintain a home throughout university and beyond.
Being able to secure and maintain a home through university – and beyond – is challenging for students without any family support. It costs a lot of money and things other students rely on their family for are not straightforward. Some students feel they need to be preparing to secure a home after university, from the day they join.
We’re listening. Students themselves know better than anyone else what needs to change and we’re taking their lead to campaign for the things that matter to them most.
Right now, we’re asking universities to provide a free guarantor service for all estranged and care experienced students, find out how you can support our campaign here.
The goal is for estranged and care experienced students to inform and lead campaigns that drive necessary change for the whole community.
= A home for life
Students are freed up to enjoy everything that university offers and make the most of university life, safe in the knowledge that they have a secure home.
Everyone is equipped to secure and maintain a home beyond university and throughout their life, armed with practical knowledge and professional experience.
If you’d like to find out more about us or collaborate with us in any of these areas, Fiona would love to hear from you. Drop her an email email@example.com