Care Experienced


The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 gave public bodies a responsibility to understand the lives of Scotland’s looked after young people and respond to their needs as any parent would. 

This law tries to help to address the difference in attainment between those who are care-experienced and their counterparts. Care experienced young people are more likely to achieve fewer qualifications, become homeless or end up in prison than they are to get a good job or get a degree. This is because of the difficulties faced by care-experienced young people, the disrupted nature of their education and home life – both of which are out of the young person’s control. 

At UHI North, West and Hebrides we want to encourage more college and university applications from care leavers and anyone who has previously been cared for by a local authority, to help to change this picture and give care-experienced young people the support they need to achieve their goals and ambitions. 

Visit our Contact us page for full details on how to get in touch.

We can offer help and support in various areas:

  • Applying for a course 
  • Funding questions and queries 
  • Study support and personal 
  • Help with accommodation 
  • Support for your next step when you have finished at college 


  • All discussions with us are strictly confidential 
  • No question is too small or too silly 
  • We can offer a range of help from a five minute chat to regular catch-ups 
  • Don’t be alone, we are here to help 


Who is care experienced? content

Who is care experienced?

Who is care experienced?

This means you have been in foster care, were cared for by friends or relatives, were in residential care or were cared for at home with support from Social Services. We are committed to supporting you if you have a background in care. 

Applying to College or University content

Applying to College or University

Applying to College or University

We're here to make your journey into college or university as smooth as possible, from the moment you're still in school choosing your subjects, all the way to when you apply for our courses.

Tick the Box! 

When you apply for a place at college/university, and when you enrol, you will be asked to indicate on your form if you have ever been in care. This does not have any negative effect and this information remains confidential. It is a positive step to take, as it lets us know that your education may have been disrupted and gives us the opportunity to offer additional support. It also helps us to understand your financial position better and to be able to offer appropriate advice and help. We will contact you to arrange an informal chat when we can make sure you are aware of the support that is available for you at college. 

If you would like to visit a campus or centre before you start, get in touch and we can organise an individual campus tour.

Funding for care experienced students content

Funding for care experienced students

Funding for care experienced students

We can help you to complete your bursary or EMA funding application and make sure you will get paid at the start of term. If you are studying at HNC, HND or degree level, we can tell you about the new care leavers bursary available from SAAS (the Student Awards Agency Scotland). 

We can also explain about our Discretionary Funds, which is money you may be eligible for once we know what your circumstances are. We can help with the application for these funds, and we can help you with any benefits you may be entitled to claim whilst you are still a student. 

Student Services is open during the summer holiday, so you can always get in touch with someone here and we are a small team, so it is the same people you talk to each time. 

If you are taking an HNC, HND or a degree, we will help you with the costs of attending graduation (gown hire, photos etc) when you have completed your course. 

If you would like to discuss your financial support arrangements to ensure you receive the support you are entitled to please contact our Student Funding Team. on

Please also see the University of the Highlands and Islands website for further information and useful links.

Study Support and Personal Support content

Study Support and Personal Support

Study Support and Personal Support

Once you have accepted a place to study with us, we have a range of support services here to help all students, some of which may be helpful for you. We are proud of our reputation for being friendly and helpful, but your first year can still feel a bit daunting, so we are here to help whatever the problem – if we can’t help, we can point you in the direction of someone who can. 

With your agreement, someone from Student Services will meet with you from time to time to make sure things are going OK for you. This is a chance to make sure that you are getting on well on the course and to discuss any problems you may have. We can then look to see how we can help. Solutions can be as simple as help with putting in an application for Discretionary Funding, getting some extra help from a tutor, booking an appointment with our counsellor, or giving you a bit of flexibility with the attendance requirements when things are tough. 

We can also make sure your tutors are aware of anything that will help you to get on with your studies. Our class sizes tend to be small, so you will get to know your tutors quite well. Every student has a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT), and this person is the one you should talk to about any academic matters that are worrying you. 

Accommodation content



We understand that accommodation requirements are often particularly important for students leaving care. We have a range of accommodation options across our areas including halls of residence and private accommodation options. Find out more on our Accommodation page.

If you are studying at HNC/HND or degree level, there is help for covering the costs of housing during the summer vacation through the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). We can show you how to apply for this. 

Finishing your studies content

Finishing your studies

Finishing your studies

Finally, we aim to give you the support you need to show your ability and successfully complete your course with us.  If you are coming to the end of your course and thinking about what to do next, we can help to put you in touch with people who can help you to make the next step. You can get help to put together a CV and help with application forms for jobs – and help where to find the best opportunities. 

If you have any questions or queries whilst you are with us, you can get in touch with our small Student Services team and we will do our best to help. 

Useful Links content