Meet our students
I never had any interest in school and certainly not in going to university. It was only when I started working as a carer that I started thinking I might be able to train as a nurse. I had to go to college to re-do my GSCEs in maths and English, as I had failed everything at school, and then carry on at night-school to do my A levels. The money from the bursary has been a massive help through my degree. I’ve learned I’ve got a lot more resilience than I thought! I’m very proud to have made it here.
I was taken into care at the age of two. It was always my goal to go to university, but I wouldn’t have got there if my grandparents hadn’t supported me. When I visited Plymouth, the team reached out to me and explained about the bursaries. The bursary I’ve received has had a big impact on my time at the University. It’s given me the freedom to buy course books, learn and travel. I’ve also benefited socially – my best friend is someone I met at a care leavers’ event.
"I was taken into care at the age of 14. My grades improved and I was encouraged to go to university, but I knew it would be hard for me as a care leaver. I first looked at the University of Plymouth because of the course, but then I discovered the bursaries and support for care leavers. My friends have their parents to help them emotionally and financially. For me, the care leavers’ support is like having the University as a surrogate parent! It keeps me supported."
"Most other students seem to have financial support from their parents... The care leavers' bursary has been extremely beneficial to my studies."
After my mother died, I spent time in foster care with my little brother. It was a long road from foster care to graduating from the University of Plymouth with a Law degree, but the support I received made it possible. I worked throughout my degree to fund my studies and living costs. Throughout this time, the University gave me support, including making counselling services available to me and awarding me a care leavers
"Going to university still sometimes seems too good to be true, because I was always made to feel like an inferior person in society, not good enough or normal enough to go to school. Attending university is about much more than getting a degree, it's a chance to start a new life. It can be the most valuable thing in the world for a care leaver, and was the best decision of my life. I've voted for the first time here in Plymouth."
People like you made it possible for me to accept my place, and saw me through difficult times. As a care leaver, I was lucky enough to get support from the University. This included a grant to help with living costs and buying books; accommodation all year round, and there was always someone for me to talk to. There were monthly meetings for care leavers, where I met people who faced the same difficulties as me. I made friends who really helped me.
Without that support, I wouldn’t have made it through to graduation. That’s why, as well as saying thank you, I want to ask if you will help other care leavers who are due to start at the University.”
"I arrived here from Iraq as a child and received treatment for conditions I was born with. I was inspired to study medicine. Receiving a scholarship helped with my living costs. It also enabled me to work in my local hospital, shadowing doctors. Thanks to the support I’ve received, I’ve been able to get fully involved in university life. My goal is to be an emergency doctor in harsh, stressful environments where medical assistance is limited.”