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The Sussex Learning Network Uni Connect Programme, in collaboration with the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers, has created a short film focusing on care-experienced* students at university.  The video, which features students from five different universities, offers advice and insight for younger care-experienced people who are considering their future study options and opportunities.

With as few as 6%-12% of all care-experienced people progressing into higher education, there can be limited information and advice available to young people when navigating their next steps after school and college. Providing young people with peer models that they can relate to is known to have a positive impact and the role models video provides a voice for this student group – discussing some of the challenges that they faced, the sources of support or advice that helped them along the way, and sharing some of their own experiences of starting university as a care-leaver.

Students from universities across the UK were invited to contribute and were keen to share their own stories and experiences in the hope they could make the journey easier for other students. Universities represented include the University of Sunderland, University of Sussex, University of Salford, Bournemouth University, and University of Southampton and you can watch the short film here:

This video was funded through the Office for Students Uni Connect programme which aims to reduce the gap in higher education participation between the most and least represented groups. The Sussex Learning Network is a strategic educational partnership and one of 29 national consortia running the Uni Connect programme.

The National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) is a national charity for professionals supporting the progression of young people in care, or leaving care, into and through further and higher education.

For further information about the project you can contact:

Debra Vice-Holt (Programme Manager for Uni Connect at Sussex Learning Network) d.vice-holt@sussexlearningnetwork.org.uk,

Anne-marie Bird (National Strategy Group Co-Chair for NNECL)  annemariebird@gmail.com

Further links associated with the video project:

Sussex Learning Network Uni Connect – https://www.sussexlearningnetwork.org.uk/uniconnect

NNECL –  https://nnecl.org

University of Sussex –  http://www.sussex.ac.uk

University of Sunderland – https://www.sunderland.ac.uk

University of Salford – https://www.salford.ac.uk

Bournemouth University – https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk

University of Southampton – https://www.southampton.ac.uk

Office for Students Uni Connect – https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/promoting-equal-opportunities/uni-connect

*‘care experienced’ refers to those who have been in care, is currently in care, or is from a looked-after background