10/09/2015Brand new research: estranged students in higher education

Unite Foundation and Stand Alone launch the New Starts report which provides the first comprehensive picture of estranged students studying in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

The study reveals that 9,338 students estranged from their parents are vulnerable to homelessness during the holiday periods and 14% admitted that they had either registered homeless or had considered registering homeless during their studies. 

The research also shows that estranged students are:                                                                                                                  

  • Most likely to become estranged from their family between the ages of 16-19
  • Overwhelmingly likely to be studying in London
  • Far more likely to be studying in non-Russell Group universities
  • More likely than the average population to be non-white
  • More likely than average to select their institution on the basis of the level of student support they believe it will offer them
  • Seven times more likely than average to select a university based on having friends at the same institution

Emotional abuse, divorce and mismatched expectations about family roles are the key causes of family alienation in young people. More specifically, issues connected to honour based violence, forced marriage and family rejection of LGBTQI and transgender students are common.

For a full overview of estranged students in higher education today, together with actionable recommendations, please see the report.