Since 2012 universities in England have been able to charge fees of up to £9000 per academic year. Whilst many institutions have set up bursaries and scholarship schemes it can be a minefield working through the different options and eligibility criteria.
On top of this are the hidden costs that many students don’t anticipate, charges universities make for use of Wi-Fi or printing for example. Add in essential travel, books and other equipment and the average course cost is more like £10,000 a year. Then there are the everyday costs of living – food, rent, insurance, the things we all need to live; that comes to £12,000 a year.
To pay for all this, the average funding available from loans and grants each year is £14,000; that’s a shortfall of £7-8,000 a year.
All these costs add up to one huge barrier for many of the young student hopefuls living in Curo homes, potentially putting a stop to their dream of a university education.
Whilst a university education is not the only route in to work, it can be an absolute for some careers such as medicine, law and architecture. It’s also often one of the first things employers still look for when recruiting new talent.
The latest data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service shows that school-leavers from wealthy backgrounds are 2.4 times more likely to apply to university than young people from lower-income households. This is leading to some careers being significantly under-represented in many sections of society, purely because the further education route isn’t seen as an option. And so the cycle continues…
At Curo we want to break down this barrier and make it possible for one Curo resident to go to university, so we set up the Curo Scholarship. The scheme will give one of our customers (or their children) £9,000 towards the living costs they will incur during their time at university.
The Curo Scholarship adds to a number of other Curo initiatives such as work placements and apprenticeships, all designed to open up avenues into careers for our residents for years to come, helping our customers make more of their dreams possible.