Completing compulsory education should not be the only aspiration for looked-after young people. Indeed going to university remains an aspiration for many young people, with 40% of jobs requiring a degree level education (propel.org.uk). Yet, there are few groups less likely to access higher education than young people growing up in care.
Care leavers make up 0.1 per cent of all undergraduates. You’re more likely to bump into an undergraduate from Cyprus than a student who grew up in a care (CSJ, 2018).
First Star believes post 16 interventions are too late for many of our young people in care – GCSEs remain the biggest barrier to many Care Leavers entering university.
FSAUK’s strategic approach
Sustain the First Star programme in London, expanding to include new universities
Expand First Star provision into universities in key regions of need (see heat map opposite)
Advocate the 12by24 pledge – Promote access to universities
Challenge universities to widen participation and adopt the Gold Standard Kite mark (12by24, CSJ2019)
First Star UK’s national programme is supported by the data shown in our heat map illustrating cities and regions with significant numbers of Looked-after Young People. Established in 2017, and winners of the What Uni Award for Best Prospective Student Engagement (2018), FSAUK’s pilot academy at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London is thriving; offering a scalable and transferable model. FSAUK offers universities the opportunity to commit to care leavers in a way that can and does make a difference. FSAUK’s expansion to new university providers coincides with the launch of the Care Leavers Covenant