The University has a proud record of drawing its students from under-represented communities. As an institution that believes that higher education can unlock social mobility, it offers a range of bursaries and fee reductions to help otherwise disadvantaged students to realise their talent and potential.
Among them is the The Plymouth Fund, which provides £2,000 per year for each year of study, as well as extensive pastoral support that wraps around the entire student journey. So, before they’ve even enrolled at the University, prospective students receive support in the shape of pre-entry visits, liaison with support workers, assistance with the application process, and a guarantee of accommodation on campus.
When students do arrive, they receive help with moving in and are given a £200 voucher to cover the cost of setting up. They are given membership of a support group, and provided with opportunities to develop new skills through student ambassador work or employer mentoring. And even after they finish their degree, they are awarded a financial package to cover the cost of graduation, and a further 12 months support to help with the transition to employment.
One such student to benefit was Cheri Duffett, who graduated from the BA (Hons) Business degree in 2013. Cheri was taken into care at the age of four, and had spells living with her mother, her grandparents, and a foster family, before she was able to enrol at Plymouth thanks to The Plymouth Fund.
She said: “It wasn’t an easy start in life or a stable one. But my grandparents instilled in me the importance of an education, and I always wanted to go to university. Sadly, my foster parents weren’t supportive – education wasn’t a priority for them.