Four students walk along waterside at Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard

Students at university without the support of a family network can access help with housing, finance and wellbeing

25 November 2019

4 min read

More support is now available for students who are studying without the support and approval of their family, ahead of this Estranged Student Solidarity Week (25 - 29 November 2019).

Over 9,300 students across the country attend university without the financial, emotional and other support of their family network. They often experience greater money pressures, stress and mental health struggles - and are three times more likely to withdraw from or suspend their course than other students.

Leah, a second year Portsmouth student affected by estrangement said: “In a word, being an estranged student is hard. Student Wellbeing have been amazing. Coming to uni is great because you have all of the support services available, and you can make friends!”

Support for estranged students at University of Portsmouth

 Other students have, like their parents, come down, help them move out, help them move in, give them money when they've run out of their loan and they've got somewhere to go for Christmas, I don't.

In a word, being an estranged student is hard.

Wellbeing are amazing, honestly.

So I think coming to uni is great, because you've also got all of the support services available and you can make friends.

(singing) I'm part of show choir and I know that if anything were to happen, I can go to them.

You don't want a formal wellbeing thing, you just want a hug.

I know that if I walked into choir and I needed a hug, I've got about 20 people who are going to form a line.

We like to support every student who has the capability of succeeding at university.

And we know we're aware that estranged students have particular challenges that they have to face.

And of course, naturally, we'd want to help them in every way we can.

And so we provide a bursary of a £1000 because we're also aware that they unlike other students, will want to stay for the whole year at the university, which we like to help them with.

Support available for estranged students

The University has signed the Stand Alone Pledge, committing to help these students access and overcome these challenges to get the best out of university.

Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor, said: “We’re aware that estranged students have particular challenges that they have to face, and of course we want to help them in every way they can.”

The support on offer from the University includes:

  • A bursary to help cover costs for estranged students, which has increased by a third to £1,000 this academic year
  • A transitional bursary for students trying to prove estrangement
  • Access to year round accommodation in halls of residences and priority for Summer Funding to meet the extra rent and living costs over the summer holidays
  • Help with securing private housing without a guarantor
  • Access to a Support Manager from the Student Housing team to help with housing and accommodation issues throughout their time as a student
  • A Student Wellbeing adviser to be a point of contact throughout their time at university, and no cap on access to further support if needed.
  • Ongoing help with accessing other advice and wellbeing services in the city.

New support network for estranged students

In partnership with the Students’ Union and estranged students, the University is looking at further ways to improve the support network we have in place for our estranged students.

Drop in stall

During the week there will a joint stall in the Students’ Union foyer for all students and staff to find out more about estranged students, and the support available.

Students’ Union building

  • Tuesday 26 November, 12.00pm - 2.00pm
  • Thursday 28 November, 12.00pm - 2.00pm

Estranged student meet-up

An event on Thursday evening gives estranged students the chance to meet other students in the same situation and speak with University staff about other ways estranged students could be supported.

Cafe Coco

  • Thursday 28 November, 5.00pm - 6.30pm

Or to find out more contact James Quinn on 02392 843079 or