GCU Students’ Association supports student carers’ campaign

04 December 2015

GCU Students’ Association supports student carers’ campaign

Carers Trust Scotland

GCU Students’ Association is backing a new national campaign to help students balancing higher education with unpaid care responsibilities for loved ones and friends.

The campaign Going Higher in Scotland has been launched by Carers Trust Scotland and is calling on universities in Scotland to provide more support to student carers.

Launched earlier this year, the campaign will highlight the demands facing students who provide support to relatives and friends while managing their studies. Care needs can range from long-term illness, disability, mental-health problems or addiction; however, there are currently no official records of student carers in Scotland.

Research published by Carers Trust Scotland shows student carers are four times more likely to drop out of college or university than their peers and two-in-five juggle paid employment, alongside their studies and caring responsibilities, which, according to the charity, suggests financial support is not sufficient.

Jodie Waite, Vice-President at GCU Students' Association, said: “The Going Higher campaign recognises student carers within higher education. Every student should have the opportunity to succeed at university and by identifying and supporting the needs of student carers, we will strive to create a supportive environment to allow students to meet their academic ambitions.”

GCU Students’ Association, together with the University, is raising awareness of the campaign throughout its campus and encouraging student carers to seek support when needed.

GCU Director of Student Experience Jackie Main added: “GCU welcomes the Going Higher campaign and is working with the Students’ Association to develop a framework to support the campaign’s objectives. As the University for the Common Good, we are committed to providing students access to the support they need to help them fulfil their potential.”

Florence Burke, Carers Trust, Director for Scotland, said: “Carers who have the opportunity and ability to go into higher education should not be negatively impacted because of their caring responsibilities. It’s time for student carers’ voices to be heard. The Going Higher in Scotland campaign wants to see student carers being put at the forefront of the higher education agenda in Scotland.”