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KU Cares: bursaries and support for care leavers, estranged students, young adult carers and sanctuary scholars

KU Cares - Supporting care leavers, estranged students, young adult carers and sanctuary scholars

Our package includes financial support, access to year-round accommodation, access to internal and external opportunities including paid work, mentoring schemes, social and networking events, and contribution to research. This is in addition to advocacy across the university and within your local authority and a dedicated KU Cares team to support you through your application, time at University, graduation and beyond. You will be eligible for our pre-application support which includes our Head Start summer programme.

If you have any questions or are unsure of your eligibility please email us.

In recognition of the challenges sometimes experienced by KU Cares eligible students (including personal and educational disruption), grade flexibility may be applied if a KU Cares student doesn't meet the conditions of their offer, on an individual case/course basis. Student must contact the KU Cares team to discuss at confirmation stage.

All information provided by students will be held in the strictest confidence, and only shared when necessary and with your permission.

We provide support for UK undergraduate students who are under the age of 25 when they start their course and are part of the following groups. Please check your eligibility and evidence required for the scheme on the relevant pages.

Celebrating 15 years of KU Cares

We are very proud that 2021 marks the 15-year anniversary of KU Cares, our award winning, comprehensive package of support for care leavers, estranged students, young adult carers' and sanctuary scholars at Kingston University.

Care leavers and care experienced students

Learn more about the financial support, bursaries, accommodation, graduation, outduction and the designated contact to support you.

Estranged Students

Learn more about the £1500 KU Cares Bursary, priority for the Kingston Bursary, access to year-round accommodation in Kingston University halls of residence and a designated contact to support you.

Sanctuary Scholars

Learn more about the four full-fee remitted places for undergraduates, an annual £5000 bursary to support with living costs and a designated contact to support you.

Young Adult Carers

Learn more about the £500 Young Adult Carer Bursary, priority for the Kingston Bursary, accommodation, and specialist support.

What do I do now?

  • Register your interest by applying for KU Cares (please ensure you tick the box declaring that you fall into one of the above groups)

Meet the KU Cares team

We are here to support you throughout your journey at Kingston University – before you join us, all the way through to graduation.

Lydia Ansong

Lydia Ansong

Access and Support Advisor

Designated Member of Staff for Estranged students and Sanctuary Award Scholarship students (Forced Migrant students)

I'm your main point of contact if you are a student/keyworker from foyers, hostels, charities and/or local authorities.

I'm here to help with queries on Student Finance, Accommodation and Home Office checks (Sanctuary Awards), and will be your link to academic faculty support.

Contact me by email at

Beth Taswell

Beth Taswell

Access and Support Advisor

Designated Member of Staff for Care Leavers and Young Adult Carers. NNECL regional rep and Trustee of Become.

I'm your main point of contact if you are a student/Social Worker/ Advisor from local authorities and third sector organisations including Carers' Networks.

I'm here to advise on Student Finance queries, Accommodation questions, Leaving Care provisions, and will be your link to academic faculty support.

Contact me by email at

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Learn more about KU Cares support and eligibility

Inspiring care leaver student recognised with national learning award

Michael Shakil, an inspirational Kingston University student who spent his childhood in care overcame the odds to progress to university in his mid-twenties and won a prestigious national award.

Kingston University praised for support it offers care leavers throughout their studies

Government Ministers Nadhim Zahawi, left, and Chris Skidmore, far right, speak to Kingston University student Pauline and access and support officer Beth Taswell about the support students receive through the KU Cares programme.

Two Government Ministers have praised Kingston University for its sector-leading work helping students who are care leavers or estranged from their families move on to higher education and get the opportunity to complete a degree.

What our students say...

Care leaver graduate "Coming to University was a dream that seemed to be unreachable for people like me. Completing my degree successfully is an unexplainable and overwhelming feeling. Thank you to the Compact Scheme for believing in me when I was doubting my abilities. You stood by me when the odds were against me and supported me throughout my degree."

Care leaver graduate


Our support package, KU Cares, has won recognition as ‘Highly commended' at the NEON Awards May 2019, ‘runner up' at the Guardian University Awards, March 2015 and ' highly commended' at the Times Higher Awards, November 2014.