Care Experienced Students


We are committed to supporting all of our students, from whatever background they are from. This includes our care experienced and looked-after students aged 16 years old upwards.

At UHI Shetland, we recognise that starting a new course can be an exciting opportunity, but it can also feel overwhelming, especially if you have experienced difficulties in your childhood or have been cared for away from home.

Examples of difficulties in childhood could be the death of a loved one, bullying at school, witnessing violence in your own home or suffering from poor mental health.

Examples of being cared for away from home are living in residential care, foster care, or being cared for by friends or relatives (other than your parents).

Care Experienced or Looked-After students means you might identify :

  • In ‘foster care’ or ‘supported care’
  • A ‘Care Leaver’ no longer in care
  • ‘Looked after at home’ with the support of your Social Worker

Starting college can be daunting, and we are happy to support you from initial enquiry onwards. It is important that you disclose at the point of application about your care experience, so that we can offer you the support you are entitled to. It won’t mean you get a different student experience to your peers; it’s more that you are entitled to extra support to help you achieve your potential at Shetland UHI.

You can get support in the following areas:

  • Pre entry guidance to offer support and advice
  • Emotional support via our Counselling service
  • Support on a range of financial support available

Our named contact for Care Experienced students is Michele Kerry - 

Shetland UHI Corporate Parenting Plan 2021-2024

We are aware that through your journey so far, you have developed great strength, resilience and a determination to succeed. We want to help you achieve all that you are capable of, by working with you to provide the opportunities you need to make that happen.

At UHI Shetland we have a caring and friendly support team who are there to provide help with course and study related queries, everyday concerns, health and wellbeing, counselling sessions and learning support.

In addition, students and applicants from Scotland may also be entitled to the Care Leavers Grant through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), which can assist with paying for accommodation costs during the vacation period. (HE only).

Further support and advice can also be found by clicking on the links below:

Who Cares? Scotland 

Student support - Care Experienced Students (

Care Advice Line - free help and advice, available Mon-Fri, 10:00-17:00 

See our funding page for more funding options. 

Family Action launched an out of hours support line to provide emotional support for Care Leavers aged 18-27Listening Works is open 6pm to midnight 7 days per week, with the aim of being available when other services are not. Care experienced adults can contact via phone, webchat, or text: