Extra support when you need it

We believe all people should be able to access an education at Imperial, but we understand some students will find their time here harder than others. Not everyone starts from the same place and students from different backgrounds might need extra support to succeed. 

Students from the following backgrounds will be able to access a package of extra support from a specialist team in Student Services:

  • Students who are care-experienced
  • Students estranged from their families
  • Students who are young adult carers
  • Refugees and asylum seekers, or with another forced migration background

This support is available for both undergraduates and postgraduates from all departments.

What do these terms mean?


We take a broad definition of care-experience, not restricting to just those that meet the statutory definition of ‘care-leaver’.

Being care experienced means you will have spent time living with foster carers under local authority care, in residential care (e.g. a children’s home), looked after at home under a supervision order, or in kinship care with relatives or friends, either officially (e.g. a special guardianship order) or informally without local authority support.

Students estranged from their family

Imperial defines an estranged person as a student under 25 years old (on 1st September of the first year of their studies) who no longer has the support of their parents, and often also other family members, due to a permanent breakdown in their relationship which has led to ceased contact. This might mean your biological, step or adoptive parents or wider family members who have been responsible for supporting you in the past. 

What do these terms mean?

Young adult carers

Imperial’s definition of a young carer is someone who whose life is affected by providing substantial unpaid care for a family member who is unable to manage without this support. Some examples could include:

  • Caring for a sick parent, for example including helping with daily activities like bathing, preparing meals, and managing medication, while also balancing their studies.
  • Supporting a sibling with a disability, for example by assisting with mobility, attending medical appointments, and providing companionship and emotional support alongside their academic responsibilities.


Forced migrant students

At Imperial we use the term ‘forced migrant’ as an umbrella term to include students who are:

  • Seeking asylum in the UK
  • Awarded refugee status in the UK or another country
  • Those who have been granted a temporary form of leave as the result of an asylum or human rights application (e.g. limited leave to remain, discretionary leave to remain, humanitarian protection).
  • Came to the UK via a Nationality-specific bespoke immigration route, available to some Afghans, Ukrainians, and people from Hong Kong.

What's in the support package?

The extra support package will be available for students from August 2024 and we are currently finalising the details. The general types of support we expect to provide include:

  • Having a named person as a dedicated point of contact at the university to assist you in navigating all of the support at Imperial.
  • Access to a peer mentor and the opportunity to be a mentor yourself.
  • Opportunities to attend regular dedicated events including workshops and socials.
  • Access to apply to a special Opportunities Fund to help with extra costs related to your studies such as co- and extra-curricular activities.

Nothing about us without us

We are offering paid opportunities to students from the backgrounds listed above to help us build this support package to be the best it can be, in the spirit of co-production and partnership working. We know that you are the 'experts by experience' and will be fundamental to help us create an effective service.

Hearing from you about your experience at Imperial so far, any challenges you've faced, the support you've accessed, and what extra support you want, will be invaluable to helping us get this right. 

How to get involved

There are two ways that you can get involved:

  • Completing our survey
  • Taking part in a focus group (paid opportunity)

Click here to find out more and get involved

Please note, this opportunity is only available for students who are care-experienced, estranged, refugees, asylum seekers, or have caring responsibilities.