Higher education students without family support need urgent financial and wellbeing help as they face the coronavirus crisis alone, charities say in a new report.
A UK-wide survey of 251 university and college students who are either careexperienced or estranged from their family found that they are most worried about being able to earn money to pay for rent and bills (62%), finishing their course (62%), mental health due to isolation (55%), and getting essential food and medical supplies (50%).
The charities who carried out the survey are asking the UK government to fund emergency grants for students who do not have a family home to go back to and who are unable to support themselves as part time and temporary work has dried up.
Become, Stand Alone, the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL), The Unite Foundation, and social value agency Spectra are also calling for:
• Universities to commit to supporting students’ mental health through online counselling and peer-to-peer initiatives.
• Government to prevent students becoming homeless by working with student accommodation providers and landlords.
• Loans of IT equipment to students who need this to continue their studies.