New charitable foundation to help students with their housing needs
Press release issued: 9 February 2012
The University of Bristol has been selected as one of four universities to benefit from a new charitable trust which will offer students bursaries to help with the cost of living. Student accommodation providers UNITE has launched its own charitable trust to support prospective students who might otherwise be deterred from applying to university.
The UNITE Foundation is offering 21 bursaries to students from the University of Bristol, University of Edinburgh, King's College London and Sheffield Hallam University. The support package includes free accommodation in a UNITE property for the duration of study and up to £4,000 a year towards living expenses.
Priority will be given to people who have spent time in care whilst growing-up – a group which is particularly under-represented in higher education.
UNITE hope to expand the bursary scheme to support 140 students by 2016. The foundation is also giving £85,000 to organisations which support its objectives of widening participation and integrating students into the community.
Jane Fitzwalter, Student Funding Manager at the University of Bristol, said: “The University of Bristol is excited to be involved in this scheme as it gives us an opportunity to support a group of students that we know are under-represented in higher education, particularly at a time when the costs of going to university may be considered a deterrent.
“This scheme will give us the chance to ensure that these students are appropriately supported during their time at the University of Bristol.”
Mark Allan, Chief Executive of UNITE Group, said: “As a responsible business that is built to last, we are aware of the impact we have on the communities in which we operate; the UNITE Foundation will help us strengthen our positive and trusting relationships with the universities and communities we serve.
“It is fitting that we launch the UNITE Foundation in the same year that UNITE celebrates its 21st birthday – a significant rite of passage that many of our students experience while living with us. The experience we have gained in this time gives me full confidence that the UNITE Foundation will enable us to make the best use our available resources to make real difference to the sector."