Ulster University has opened applications for 15 community scholarships for care experienced prospective students across Northern Ireland, with support from Belfast Harbour. Aiming to increase access to higher education, the £45,000 scholarship fund will provide £1,000 per academic year to care experienced students.
Applicants will be considered care experienced if they have experience of being placed in care (fostering/adopted/care home or other supported residential care). This includes individuals who have lived in public care or as a looked-after child, including placements with foster carers under local authority care or kinship care, in a residential children's home, or who have been adopted after being in care.
Applications for the programme are open to all care experienced prospective applicants completing the final year of a Level 3 qualification (A-levels, BTEC, HND or equivalent) who are due to begin their first year of study in September 2022, have confirmed Ulster University as their first choice. This fund is in addition to the Care Leaver Bursary offered by Ulster University.
The community scholarships have been developed following a positive responsive to an initiative in 2020, which saw Belfast Harbour support disadvantaged school and higher education students during the height of the pandemic, through the provision of laptops and tablets to enable them to access remote learning.
Commenting on the support, and Belfast Harbour’s commitment to supporting education, employability and skills, Allison Dowling, Director of Marketing and Communications at Belfast Harbour said
“As a socially responsible Port and a key economic hub for the region, Belfast Harbour is committed to investing in our communities. We are delighted to support these new community scholarships and are pleased to partner with Ulster University in its efforts to increase and widen access to higher education."
At Belfast Harbour, we recognise the importance of developing a strong and sustainable skills pipeline. By providing financial support to care experienced students through this new scholarship programme, we continue to invest in our communities, and to build a Port for Everyone that is a gateway to opportunity for all.
Ulster University’s Deputy Director of Fundraising, Caroline Armstrong says:
“We are delighted to partner with Belfast Harbour on these life-changing scholarships. Care experienced students without family support can face many complex challenges during their educational journey but the pandemic and increased living costs have undoubtedly exacerbated these challenges.
“Providing such financial support to those without the usual support structure really can transform lives, while contributing to ensuring equity of access and that these students have the best opportunity to reach their full potential. Thank you to Belfast Harbour for this impactful support.”
Applications are now open and will close on the 24 June 2022. Get more information on Community Scholarships