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“At the University of Bolton, we take great pride in providing a quality, supportive learning environment for our students.”
Professor George E Holmes DL | President & Vice Chancellor
“...tutors are very supportive and you’re not just a student ID number, at this university you are an individual with a name.”
Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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The University of Bolton has become one of the first in the country to be awarded a new Quality Mark from The National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL).
Since late 2019, work has been underway to develop this new award to support higher and further education institutions to achieve the best outcomes for their care experienced students.
It has received funding from the UPP Foundation for the initial developmental pilot and additional support from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority for a collaborative project in 2021.
The Quality Mark has a strong focus on mental health and wellbeing, as well as more detailed written guidance, templates and support for institutions.
It involves an institutional self-assessment which is reviewed by a NNECL assessor.
There are seven areas covered in the framework:
- Continuous improvement
- Collaborative partnership
- Student wellbeing
- Culture and leadership
- Student success
- Admissions process
Danielle Mannion, Outreach Project Manager at the University of Bolton, was invited by the NNECL to speak at the online launch for the Quality Mark on Thursday 24 June to share her experience of the process.
Caroline Cowburn, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Transformation), at the University of Bolton, said: “The University of Bolton is proud to be a Widening Participation institution and we are dedicated to supporting all of our students.
“That commitment is particularly important for those students who are care experienced and we are delighted to have been awarded this Quality Mark – it is a great achievement and a natural extension of our ethos to support all students from all backgrounds.”
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said: “Improving the opportunities available to care leavers as they gain independence and enter adulthood, is a top priority of this government.
This new Quality Mark will help ensure students with experience of being in care have the support they deserve, and the information they need to choose the universities or colleges that work best for them.
“I warmly welcome this evidence-based approach and encourage all institutions to join this sector-wide effort to provide targeted support for these students, at every stage of their education.”
The National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) is a registered charity that was established eight years ago by higher education institutions and national organisations committed to the progression and support of care experienced students in further and higher education.