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Special Educational Needs: Universities

Question for Department for Education

UIN 44383, tabled on 7 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support people with learning disabilities wishing to study at university who do not meet the university's entry requirements as a result of their learning disability.

Answered on

15 September 2021

Higher education (HE) providers, as autonomous bodies independent from government, are responsible for their own recruitment decisions.

The government believes HE should be accessible for all and disabled students are entitled to support so they can study alongside fellow students on an equal basis. HE providers are responsible for providing a safe and inclusive environment for all disabled students.

The government expects all HE providers to fulfil their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010, to make reasonable adjustments for all disabled HE students.

Where students are concerned that the appropriate support is not available, we expect student complaints and appeals processes to be operated flexibly, accessibly, and sympathetically by providers to resolve any concerns. If the student is not satisfied with the provider’s final response to their complaint, and the provider is in England or Wales, they can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider the complaint.

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) helps students with the additional costs they may face in higher education because of their disability, including long-term health conditions, mental health difficulties, or specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

It can be used for the purchase of specialist equipment, for travel, or to pay for non-medical help.

DSA is not means tested, does not have to be repaid, and is available to full-time and part-time students at undergraduate, including mature students, and postgraduate level.