Bigger boost for disadvantaged students

More than £8.5 million in new funding has been secured by The Unite Foundation as new Chair Jenny Shaw is appointed

The Unite Foundation has secured £8.5 million in new funding over the next five years – safeguarding the future of the charity into 2021.

The Unite Foundation provides a free university home – for all years of a degree – to UK students who face the most challenging personal circumstances.

Students supported by the Foundation usually have no financial support. Most have been through the care system or are estranged from their family. Every Unite Foundation scholar also receives an annual allowance of £3,000, or £4,000 in London.

The significant new funding was pledged by the Board of Unite Students, the UK’s leading developer and manager of student accommodation and also the Unite Foundation’s principal sponsor.

The announcement comes as a new Chair of the Foundation is appointed. Unite Students’ head of higher education engagement Jenny Shaw will replace the outgoing Paul Harris, who is stepping aside after helping to create the charity in 2012.

Jenny said: “The money we are so pleased to announce today will mean about 300 more students – who have faced the most challenging personal and financial circumstances – will be able to achieve a degree and all the benefits which go with it.

“Over the coming years you will also see the Foundation becoming a clear voice in widening participation and social mobility.

“There is a real lack of understanding around the challenges which face young people who have been in care or are estranged from their parents, and who want to participate in higher education. I have met many of these students and their determination to succeed in the face of adversity is utterly inspiring. We will tell their stories, and we will work with other partners to remove barriers that stand in their way.”

The Unite Foundation is a charitable trust which specialises in transforming the lives of young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds by enabling access to higher education and employment opportunities.

The Unite Foundation Scholarship Scheme provides free accommodation to undergraduate students for the duration their studies, and an annual Cost of Living allowance of £3,000 (rising to £4,000 for students in London). Some 90 students are benefiting from a Unite Foundation Scholarship in the 2014/15 academic year.

Particular emphasis is placed on supporting those who are estranged from their families, have been through the care system, or are themselves carers.

The Unite Foundation was established in 2012 by Unite Students, the UK’s leading developer and manager of student accommodation. Unite Students remains the majority donor, supported by its business partners. For more information visit: www.unitefoundation.co.uk