VC Support

Anne Loweth, PVC, speaks to Stand Alone about meeting a group of estranged students:

Stand Alone: Why is supporting estranged students so important and why are you willing to help as Pro VC?

Anne: I think, to me, it's about trying to give everybody an equal opportunity. Everyone comes to university with the same aims and expectations; doing the course they want to do and doing their best at it. Some students come with a disadvantage or one sort of another, through no fault of their own, so I care about making the playing field as level as possible for all manner of students. I think estranged students have a particularly challenging time because of the amount of extra responsibilities they have.

Stand Alone: What has it been like meeting estranged students today, and what have you learned from it – if anything?

Anne: It has been eye-opening, because I'll admit that estranged students weren't a group I was personally involved with prior to my role as Vice-Chancellor and I welcome the chance to become aware of them. It's a priority to look after our students as much as possible and these students need more help than some. It's been a pleasure and a privilege to listen to their stories, and I've got some ideas to take away with me to help push some further improvements in line with our Pledge commitment here at Keele.

Stand Alone: How will the experiences shared today help influence policy at Keele?

Anne: I think it's about realising how complicated some student's home situations are, and thinking about how to join up support so it's not just academic support or student services support working separately. It's about all areas, from accommodation to finance, working in tandem to support students as best we can.

Anne Loweth took up the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) in September 2017, taking on the strategic leadership of all aspects of student-related activities to promote and enhance the student experience, encompassing campus life, academic induction, transition and attainment as well as student support and wellbeing, continuing Keele's outstanding reputation for keeping students at the heart of its strategy.


Prof. Debra Humphis speaks about it is important for universities to take the Pledge:



Vice-Chancellors express their committment  to supporting estranged students in their Pledge letters. 

Here are a few examples:

Prof. Elizabeth Treasure, Deputy VC, Cardiff University: 'Many of the barriers estranged students encounter are similar to care leavers. However, many of the issues are compounded by the fact that they don't have any support from Social Services as care leavers do.  By giving dedicated support to estranged students, we as a University believe we can make a difference in breaking down some of these barriers and improve the experience of estranged students through journey at Cardiff University.' Read the VC's letter here.

Prof. Janet Beer, VC University of Liverpool: 'I am pleased to support the Stand Alone Pledge and look forward to seeing the benefits of these measures for our students.' Read the VC's letter here.

All VC letters can be viewed on the webpage for each of the universities that have taken the Stand Alone Pledge.


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