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Unite to fund bursaries to help poorer students


By Simon Thompson
 
     
Corporate student accommodation giant Unite is setting up a foundation to offer students help with living costs from bursaries.

The 21 bursaries are part of the companyís 21st anniversary celebrations.

The Unite Foundation will initially fund students at Bristol, Edinburgh, King's College London and Sheffield.

The support package includes free accommodation in Unite property for the duration of study and up to £4,000 a year towards living expenses.

Students who have spent time in care are the main targets for financial help because they under-represented in higher education.

Unite wants to expand the scheme to support 140 students by 2016.

Besides the bursaries, £85,000 is earmarked for organisations that support integrating students into the community.

Mark Allan, chief executive of Unite Group, said: ďAs a responsible business that is built to last, we are aware of the impact we have on the communities in which we operate; the Unite Foundation will help us strengthen our positive and trusting relationships with the universities and communities we serve.

ďIt is fitting that we launch the Unite Foundation in the same year that Unite celebrates its 21st birthday Ė a significant rite of passage that many of our students experience while living with us. The experience we have gained in this time gives me full confidence that the Unite Foundation will enable us to make the best use our available resources to make real difference to the sector."

Unite provides around 40,000 beds to students at universities across the UK and is the largest corporate student landlord.

Jane Fitzwalter, Student Funding Manager at the University of Bristol, said: ďWe are excited to be involved in this scheme as it gives us an opportunity to support a group of students that we know are under-represented in higher education, particularly at a time when the costs of going to university may be considered a deterrent.Ē

 
 
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