In 2015, more than 3,000 unaccompanied children claimed asylum in the UK in 2015. Whilst children in the care system generally have low attainment and progress to HE at low rates, unaccompanied asylum seeking children have attainment that is on a par with the wider population. However, it is not clear at what rates they enter HE, and which challenges they face to do so. The experiences of unaccompanied asylum seeking children are normally grouped together with those of refugees, or with asylum seekers who came to the UK with their families. The experience of unaccompanied asylum seeking children is likely to be distinct from those groups, because their immigration status is less secure and in addition they have to navigate the care system.
AccessHE has undertaken research to identify the barriers that unaccompanied asylum seeking children may face accessing higher education, and the work currently underway in local authorities, HEIs, and third sector organisation to support these young people. This report will be launched on 8 May, during a half day event where speakers from a range of sectors will highlight how HEIs, schools, and local authorities can best support this vulnerable group of young people.