Unite Foundation



Estranged Students Solidarity Week

Life is all about choices and chances.  The big chances we take when we form friendships, change jobs, move house. The small everyday choices that we make without a moment’s thought. Every choice we face requires us to take a leap of faith in the hope that the risk we’ve taken will improve our life.  Nothing in this world is without risk.

For most young people, a supportive family network provides a safety net to fall back on if things go wrong…


Graduate scholar Paige Mackenzie has been touring the country talking to our university partners about the work they do to support estranged students.

Throughout the week, we’ll be sharing Paige’s series of films documenting her journey. Here, Paige talks to Lizzy Pollard at Queen Mary University London about the work the university does to support estranged students.

Student Finance

When a young person considers going to university, one of the key questions is ‘can I afford it?’. Understanding and accessing finance is a daunting process for all students – it’s a long-winded, bureaucratic process and quite likely some people’s first experience of ‘life admin’.

While different systems of loans and grants are available to help fund studies in different parts of the UK, there’s plenty of evidence to show that all too often, they’re still not enough…




Paige visits Liverpool John Moores University

Paige and Phil Baktsad talk about the impact of the Unite Foundation and also the lasting relationships LJMU builds with its students.



Student Accommodation 

The academic calendar is designed around an assumption that students go home for the major holidays – but what if you don’t have a home to go back to?  That’s the situation that many estranged students find themselves in every Christmas, summer and Easter, bringing the emotional challenge of feeling left behind and alone, as well as significant practical challenges such as the very real threat of homelessness over the long summer months.

Universities and landlords are becoming conscious of the need for accommodation all year round, but of course this comes at a price…


Paige visits the University of Bristol

Maria Tottle talks to Paige about how the University of Bristol helps care estranged students to get career ready.

Student Mental Health 

The mental health of students in HE is a growing concern across the sector.  Young people who survive trauma are known to have a higher incidence of clinical mental health conditions, and we’re aware of the challenges within the NHS and HE to deliver the support young people need.

Unfortunately, the break between adolescent and adult mental health care happens at the worst possible time in a young person’s life, particularly if they go to university…




Paige visits Edinburgh Napier University

Dr Peter Tormey talks to Paige about how Edinburgh Napier University reaches out to estranged students to ensure they get the support that they need.

Student Outreach

Estrangement isn’t a label that is well known or understood, it can mean different things to different people or not be understood at all.  Even when estrangement is discussed, there’s often a lack of understanding about the reasons that lead to it, and a perception that things could easily be patched up if only there were a will to do so. This train of thought is deeply damaging…

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Paige visits Leicester De Montfort University

Paige talks to Ryan at Leicester De Montfort University about what advice he would give to new students to help them fit in.