Care leavers may increase their chances of entering higher education, with the launch of a new scheme today.
Six universities that support care leavers are being awarded a quality mark by education minister Bill Rammell.
The mark was created by charity Frank Buttle Trust which supports young people into higher education. The trust hopes more colleges will apply for the award in future.
To qualify for the quality mark, universities must participate in outreach work in the local area so young people in care are aware they can go to university and know how to apply, and are informed about bursaries and scholarships.
Students who are former care leavers must have a named member of staff who can offer support.
Only one to five per cent of care leavers go into higher education against a national average of 45 per cent, according to the Frank Buttle Trust.
Universities awarded the quality mark today are Kingston, Southampton, Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield Hallam and Edge Hill.