Unite Students, the UK’s largest student accommodation provider, has pledged to donate 1% of its annual profits to social initiatives in the future, representing a commitment of around £2m per year. year.
These initiatives will be closely aligned with its goal of providing a home of student success and its goal of expanding participation in higher education.
There will be two main funding streams in 2022. The first covers the Unite Students’ Leapskills program – an interactive set of workshops designed to prepare young school leavers for an independent life at university. The second will cover the Unite Foundation, the charitable trust founded by Unite Students in 2012, which provides free accommodation to furloughed and distant students while attending university.
Funding will be directed to the Unite Students’ Leapskills program, which helps young people become fully prepared to make the “leap” to university life.
The program, which is endorsed by the Department of Education, was originally set up in 2018 after research by Unite Students highlighted a gap between student expectations and the reality of university life. It supports 17 and 18 year olds through workshops and online training and has successfully helped over 4,000 school and college leavers prepare to live more independently.
This summer, Unite Students is partnering with UCAS to reach even more young people and support them in their preparation for the start of the 2022/2023 school year.
Leapskills aims to help students get the most out of life with different people, make new friends, balance work and pleasure, while managing money and juggling college. Schools wishing to access Leapskills for their college-preparing students can register here.
This year, Unite Students will support 100 students to mark the 10e anniversary.
The independent charity, which currently partners with 25 universities across England and Scotland to provide free university accommodation for care leavers and young people away from their families, has helped 514 students so far. Since its inception, Unite Students has committed £18 million to the Unite Foundation.
Richard Smith, Managing Director of Unite Students, said:
“We are extremely proud to dedicate 1% of our annual profits to social initiatives in the future. This is an important commitment – for us as a company, and for the sector in general. We have a long history of funding social initiatives, but this new commitment guarantees a lasting positive social impact.
“Broadening participation in higher education has always been important to Unite Students – as evidenced by the two pre-existing initiatives we fund here. Our Leapskills program bridges this gap between expectation and reality for students, giving them providing essential tools to prepare them for college life, while the Unite Foundation does vital work to level the playing field.”
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