Survey of care experienced students in Scotland's colleges and universities

Project: Research

Project Details


CELCIS carried out, on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the first Scotland-wide survey of care experienced students in Scotland's colleges and universities. The research aimed to broaden and deepen understanding of the barriers and enablers that care experienced students encounter in going to, being at and staying at college and university in Scotland.

The research took the form of an online survey which was completed by students with care experience who are studying at Scottish colleges and universities. Quantitative and qualitative analysis was carried out which led to 8 key learning points and 18 recommendations being put forward.

These learning points aim to focus the attention of practitioners, leaders and policy makers on the challenges and enabling factors which students with care experience encounter before and during study. The recommendations aim to set forth practical, solution focused actions that organisations should take to strengthen existing provision and make improvements in areas that students have identified.

Key findings

A majority of respondents reported that they did not get help with their application to college or university. Most said they declared their care experience to their college or university and found this experience to be positive. A minority of students said they had not been asked about their care experience. While most respondents reported feeling positive about their time at college or university, students who reported having a disability or mental health issue were less likely to rate their experience as positive. Just over half had considered leaving their course.
Effective start/end date17/09/186/09/19


  • Care experienced students
  • Scotland
  • college
  • university
  • widening access


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