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We are delighted to announce that the Realise Project will be relaunching this October (2021), with some very exciting educational opportunities for care-experienced individuals in Cambridgeshire. Read on to find out more about the work we are planning.

Care-Experienced and Estranged Students and Higher Education

The University of Cambridge is committed to supporting those who are care-experienced or estranged and has signed both the Care Leaver Covenant and the Stand Alone Pledge. We want to attract the most academically able students to our University, regardless of their background, and we are keen to make arrangements to help those who have experienced disadvantage and hardship.

The Realise Project

Pre-Application Support

We recognise that early intervention is very important to encourage students onto Higher Education. We work with care-experienced students in the Cambridgeshire area, offering face-to-face events and virtual mentoring for a group of Year 9s. We hope to mentor them up to the age of 18, supporting them to consider their academic and vocational choices.

Mentoring will take place once a fortnight online, with a face-to-face meeting each holiday. We have based our project planning on Theraplay; the importance of fun when learning is scientifically proven – so we intend to have lots of it! Some of the typical activities we might host are listed below:

  • A tour and 'Introduction to University' workshop
  • A visit to the Astronomy department to explore the stars
  • University-focused games
  • A meal at a University College

Whilst we cannot guarantee a place, if you are aware of a student that you think would be eligible to take part in the Realise Project, please do be in touch (

The Foundation Year at Cambridge

If you want to study courses in the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences and circumstances have prevented you from realising your academic potential, this is an opportunity not to miss!

The Cambridge Foundation Year is designed to help you realise your academic potential through a full-time course fully embedded in the University. In order to apply for the Cambridge Foundation Year, you must meet eligibility criteria – if you are care experienced, you will automatically be eligible for this opportunity!

Find out more about the Foundation Year course on our website, read about the next steps in your applicant journey, or sign up to our Student Newsletter and select “Foundation Year” as a subject of interest.

For any question you may have, please don’t hesitate to contact: or

For Current Cambridge University Students

The University and Colleges offer a vast array of support for care-experienced and estranged students. If you are a current student with care experience or are currently estranged from your family, we would encourage to speak to your College so you can access this support. If you are unsure who to contact please email

For those Considering Applying for Cambridge University

If you are a care-experienced or estranged student considering university and you have some questions you’d like answering, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Similarly, if you are a foster carer or social worker and would like to know more about our work, please get in touch. You can email the Realise Team: You could also sign up for our newsletter for further news in the top right hand corner of this webpage.

To cover the cost of travel to attend events at the University, we offer a Travel Fund to those aged 16 or above, who are currently in local authority care or from a care background. We also have an Interviewee Travel Fund scheme for applicants from a care background who have been invited to interview. See Open Day and Event Travel Fund for more information.

Follow the links for further information about the support we offer Care-experienced and Estranged Students.

For all other enquiries, please contact the Realise Team (

Sign up to a Realise mailing list

To be kept up-to-date with the latest Realise events and opportunities, sign up to one of our mailing lists:

Cambridge life as a care leaver/estranged student

Contact Us

Advice and support for care leavers and estranged students:

The Realise Team
T 01223 333315