Support boost for student carers
Students who care for a family member could be in line for more support, thanks to a campaign group at the University.
Edinburgh University Young Adult Carers (EUYAC) campaigned for student carers to be given the option to identify themselves on university and further education application forms.
Carers charities have been pushing for the change since 2014, but it was a petition started by EUYAC campaigns manager Carol Hayward that finally gained the support of UCAS.
The admission body has confirmed it will change its application forms by 2018 to include a tick box for student carers to make themselves known, putting them on a par with care leavers and other disadvantaged groups.
Campaigners hope the move will lead to more help for student carers with applying to higher/further education and completing their studies.
Research suggests young adult carers are currently under-represented in higher education, and are more likely to drop out than their peers.
The group says their focus is now on providing support between now and 2018, and gaining the support of universities to lobby for students to be able to access carers allowance - an option currently unavailable to full-time student carers.
The pressures of balancing caring responsibilities and studies mean young adult carers can face barriers to accessing higher/further education and can find it difficult to keep up with their course requirements. By making carers' situations more visible, we hope we can encourage the higher/further education sector to give more support and flexibility, increasing the number of young adult carers going into higher/further education and completing their studies.
Edinburgh University Young Adult Carers