Estranged Students


UHI is committed to providing all our students with a positive experience whilst they are studying with us and to offering the support and opportunities that help them fulfil their potential. As an institution we have signed the Stand Alone Pledge, which commits us to supporting students studying without the support or approval of a family network. 

You may find that you don’t think you need any support at first but if things change and you find you are struggling with your studies then you should not hesitate to go along to your local support services team who will be able to help you with a range of issues.

Stand Alone Pledge logo | Student working at a computer


YOUR CAMPUS CONTACTSWhere to go for support

Who are Estranged Students?

If you are irreconcilably estranged from both of your biological or adoptive parents, or only living parent, then you would be considered an estranged student (Stand Alone definition).

Scottish Government have also approved the definition as; An estranged person is someone who no longer has contact with their parents or legal guardians, due to a permanent breakdown in their relationship (isolated instances of contact will be considered on a case by case basis, with regard to funding).

Support at UHI content

Support at UHI

Support at UHI

Academic and study skills

Many students struggle with the academic demands which entering higher education can bring; in particular the increase in essay writing skills whereby you have to analyse text, discuss, and evaluate can be challenging for new students to grasp. 

  • Your programme team along with your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) will be able to provide guidance on any issues you may be having.
  • In addition, you may find it useful to access the Essential Student Skills online resource.

Careers and employability advice

The Career and employability centre is on-hand to help all students with planning their career. This includes suggesting options for after your course and assistance to help you find work.

Financial support

The UHI Discretionary and Childcare Fund is there to assist students experiencing financial hardship whether it is struggling to pay rent and bills or help with buying books for study.

Student mentors

The Student Mentor Network brings together more experienced students with those new to higher education (or postgraduate study) to share their knowledge and experience. The network provides training and a structure for more experienced students to help those new to the university.

The mentor–mentee relationship is an informal one with meetings often taking place in cafes and other off-campus spaces. There is also the option to meet online or by email with your mentor if they are based in a different area.

Wellbeing and emotional support

Students can often experience stress or find things are getting on top of them. If this is the case, whichever UHI location you are based at will have access to a counselling service or someone to talk to.

We also have a wide range of mental health support.

Your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT)

Every university student will be allocated a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) whose responsibility it is to provide academic support.

They are a point of contact for you to approach should you find you are struggling with your studies or if you need to be referred to specialist services but aren’t sure where to go.

If you are a PGR (Postgraduate Research) student you will not have a PAT but will instead have a Director of Studies and/or a Third Party Advisor who provide similar academic support. If you have any queries about this, please contact the Graduate School

Why Estranged Students may need more support at university content

Why Estranged Students may need more support at university

Why Estranged Students may need more support at university

University can be daunting for any student, but if you do not necessarily have common support structures at home to help you, this can add extra presssure.

If you let us know you are estranged and we can offer assistance to support you through your time at university. This includes providing guidance, emotional support, and a range of other things in between.

Additional support content

Additional support

Additional support

Student Finance

If you receive your funding from SAAS and are estranged, you will be eligible for additional support. Find out more about your loan entitlement, plus details of the Estranged Students' Bursary (ESB).

The charity Stand Alone created this useful Guide for students who receive funding from Student Finance England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Useful links content

Useful links

Useful links

  • EaCES Handbook - created by Estranged and Care Experienced students, the handbook is a free UCAS-recognised resource full of peer advice and information
  • Mind are a charity providing advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem

UHI's Privacy Notice

  • Please read our Privacy Notice for further information on how your data will be handled by the university