Free Event: 

20 September 2018 (10:00 – 16:30 UK Time)  at the University of Strathclyde.

Register here.


‘Estranged students’ is a term used by policy makers and support groups alike to refer to students who receive no parental or local authority support as they engage with Further and Higher Education. As a result, ‘estranged students’, face challenges in accessing and completing their studies, including financial pressure, difficulty securing stable accommodation and mental health issues connected to stress and isolation. These barriers extend beyond socio-economic concerns and set ‘estranged students’ apart from other under-represented groups.

Discussions of estrangement within the context of Higher Education are recent and connected to the awareness raising work led by the Stand Alone charity. The launch of the Stand Alone Pledge in 2016 resulted in a number of policy developments in the sector as well as Higher Education Institutions committing to improve the support available to ‘estranged students’. Nonetheless, research on ‘estranged students’ and their experiences as they engage with academia remain extremely limited and marked by a dearth of empirical knowledge.

Organised by the University of Strathclyde in partnership with the Carnegie Trust, this event constitutes a thorough introduction to the field of estrangement within the context of widening participation. Widening participation practitioners, academic researchers, third sector organisations, policy makers and students will lead presentations of estrangement, bridging for the first time the existing gap between research and practice. Discussions will consider and question concepts and best practices of estrangement within Higher Education as they currently stand and will include presentation of the latest findings in the field.

*Programme details to follow*

Confirmed speakers include:

– Dr Lucy Blake: Lucy is a lecturer in Children, Young people and Families in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at Edge Hill University. Her research explores the breakdown of relationships between family members in adulthood.

Becca Bland: CEO of Stand Alone, a charity which supports adults experiencing estrangement. The Stand Alone pledge has now been taken on by over 45 Higher Education institutions across the UK.

Prof Yvette Taylor and Dr Cristina Costa who will be presenting on their  research, which explores the experiences of estranged students beyond entry point in higher education.

There will also be speakers from the University of Strathclyde Widening Participation team, who will discuss how they support estranged students; as well as a student panel of students who are studying while estranged.

Please note that while refreshments will be provided, we are unfortunately not able to provide lunch for attendees. The venue is close to a number of cafes and local supermarkets, and sufficient time will be allocated to the lunch break to allow attendees to purchase their lunch before afternoon sessions resume.

For any further details, please contact Claire Goodfellow (