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One year on: Supporting under-represented groups

Posted on 16 April 2021

We pride ourselves on supporting students from under-represented groups.

A student wearing a face covering while she studies inside

Over the last year we have put on online inductions, quizzes and escape rooms, a Walk and Talk event for mature, local and commuting students, virtual Coffee and Craft sessions, and an online Christmas party.

The Student Buddying Scheme supports new students with their transition into University by matching them with a Student Buddy. In 2020/21 201 buddies supported 445 new students.

“Thank you so much for organising these! It's nice to feel part of the uni community as we haven't been on campus for lessons in 11 months now.” Student feedback

“I massively appreciate the effort you guys are putting in to organise these events. Thank you for giving me a piece of normality, socialising and relaxation.” Student feedback

Christmas 2020

Over Christmas we targeted support to these groups, as well as an immense effort for all those students who were staying in York.

  • We distributed over 250 Christmas hampers to student households on campus, over 850 individual students.
  • We organised the distribution of hampers to over 900 student households off campus, over 2,400 individual students.

“My student house is my only home - I don’t have family to go home to or even escape the bustle of uni life for a weekend during term-time. I cannot put into words how much being able to open something on Christmas Day made my day and brought some joy into a very difficult time of year. It was incredibly appreciated and I couldn’t thank all of those involved in the project enough for their generosity.” Student feedback

Our Christmas stocking campaign raised £5,347 from 205 donors to give stockings to students without family support.

“The first time I received a Christmas stocking was last year. I wasn’t even expecting anything from anyone so it was a welcome surprise. It was really nice to know that the University cared about us students who wouldn’t really be celebrating Christmas. I felt like I wasn’t truly alone and everything was just so thoughtful.” Student feedback

The Office for Students cited York as an example of ideas and practices for Students without Family Support Over the Winter Break, and again in January as an example of how providers can look to support outcomes for care experienced students.

We are celebrating all that colleagues from across the University have done to keep our students safe and supported over the last 12 months with a series of stories on these pages.