Propelling young care leavers into further and higher education
Become is continuing its work to increase both access and aspiration to higher education for care-experienced young people by expanding the reach of Propel, its online education resource.
Propel is a website (propel.org.uk) that provides care leavers, and the carers and professionals supporting them, with a wealth of information about UK educational institutions’ pastoral and financial support for this group of students. Developed and delivered by Become, the site has received almost 25,000 visitors since its launch in 2015.
Propel’s reach now includes data from 94% of UK universities and 63% of further education (FE) colleges that offer higher education (HE) courses. Young people in Scotland can also access information about the support on offer at every further education college in the country.
Propel is there to help care leavers make an informed choice about the right course at the right institution for them. The site aims to make sure they access all the support to which they are entitled. Care leavers can compare what is offered by different universities and further education colleges, including 365-day accommodation, additional financial provisions and whether the institution has a member of staff responsible for supporting students with experience of care. Propel also gives young people the chance to read inspirational stories from students who have successfully made the transition from care to higher education.
An independent evaluation of Propel by the University of Northampton, based on interviews and surveys with young people, carers and professionals, found that Propel was valued as a tool “not only for raising awareness of HE support for care-experienced young people, but also for challenging dominant messages of low expectation and low achievement.”
One young person said: “Propel’s made me feel like going into higher education might be possible. I didn’t think it was ever an option for someone like me.”
Another young care leaver commented: “Propel gave me the realisation that university is very much a possibility for care leavers. That realisation has helped grow my confidence in applying to uni.”
Find out more by visiting Propel today!
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