A care leaver’s transition into HE

University Centre Leeds at Leeds City College ran a social media campaign during National Care Leavers Week (24-28 October) that highlighted the vital need for better support for young adults as they transition out of care.

It sought to amplify the voices of its student care leaver community with a series of anonymised case studies that asked young people to share their experiences of moving onto Higher Education (HE), the support they have received at University Centre Leeds, and their advice to other young care leavers.

Below, ‘AC’ shares their thoughts on how they have found the transition into HE and what they think leaving care should look like. Here’s what they said:   

“The thing I most enjoy about my course is the creative freedom. You’re encouraged to create the things you want to make, as long as it fits within the task description. Transitioning from school and college to University Centre Leeds has been really nice too. Everyone you meet wants to be here and there isn’t so much of a big difference that you feel overwhelmed.  

“I’ve definitely felt very supported by University Centre Leeds as a care leaver. I’ve had many issues with student finance, which people like Jo (Tyssen, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach) and Laura (MacGregor, Widening Participation and Outreach Manager) have helped out with a lot. The course tutors help a lot too by listening to issues that have come from being in care.  

“Personally, I think care leaving could be improved by helping people coming out of care to transition better into the adult world, so supporting them a good portion of the way into their early adulthood. This could be done by giving discounted housing or a larger support allowance, as some care leavers like myself just want to start a new life by themselves.  

“Leaving care isn’t a very simple process, and depending on what type of care you’re leaving, life can be drastically different. My advice to others leaving care is to be prepared.” 

Find out more

Full details of the support offered to care-experienced young people at University Centre Leeds can be read here.