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Student Carers

A carer is anyone who cares (unpaid) for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, mental health problem or an addiction whereby they cannot cope without the support of the carer (Carers Trust). This may relate to Young Carers (those under 25 with caring roles) or Adult Carers.

The impact of caring responsibilities can have an impact on the student’s studies and employment due to additional stress and pressure

According to the Carer’s Trust, such students are four times more likely to discontinue their studies

It is recommended that higher and further education institutions have a published Student Carers Policy outlining the support available

Universities can apply for the Going Higher for Student Carers Award if they demonstrate they provide holistic support to student carers in their institutions. Similarly Colleges can apply for the Going Further for Student Carers Award.

Useful Contacts and Resources

Care Policies & Legislation in Scotland

This page from the Carers Trust clearly outlines the legislation and support for those with caring responsibilities.

This includes changes to the Carer Support Payment in Scotland (which will replace the Carers Allowance) in 2023 – 2024, and may affect students with caring roles.


CEECEF (Care Experience, Estranged & Carers Forums)

These forums are groups of colleagues from third-sector and higher education who meet and share resources and knowledge.

East Group contact is Lorraine Moore, Edinburgh Napier University

West Group contact is Dan Keenan, University of Glasgow contact

North Group contact is Dr Sally Middleton, Aberdeen University


Carers Trust Scotland

Carers Trust Going Higher Award
Tel: 0300 772 7701
Carers Trust Scotland
Office 64
Tay House
300 Bath Street
Glasgow G2 4JR Information about young carer support

SAAS – information about support for student carers

UCAS  information about students with caring responsibilities
Contact details
03714 680468


Supporting Student Carers at College

Developed by the College Development Network, this module is designed to raise awareness of the needs of student carers and how their caring roles may impact on their learning.

Please note: Users must register to complete this module.


College and University Staff Resources for staff supporting Student Carers

The Carers Trust have compiled a number of resources relevant to staff working with student carers.


Caring Counts Course

Caring Counts is an Open University in Scotland course co-created with carers and carers organisations. It’s intended to help carers reflect on their caring role, and the skills and experiences they’ve gained through it that are transferable to other contexts. It’s particularly useful for carers at a transition, who may be considering returning to work or study. It can be studied online or facilitated as a group course (there’s a guide provided).