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Posted on February 16 2019

UK Universities urged to boost the number of disabled students

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023
UK Universities to boost the number of disabled students

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore has urged UK Universities to boost the number of disabled students. He said that Universities should do more to help more disabled students get into higher education. More support should be provided to help these students succeed.

As per the latest data, a record number of disabled students were going to UK Universities in 2018. There were 94,120 such students going to Universities in England in 2017-18. At 13%, the numbers were still well below the number of disabled working-age adults in the country. Thus, the Minister wants UK Universities to review their offers and provisions for students with disabilities.

To encourage more disabled students to opt for higher education, the Minister plans to call a roundtable of stakeholders. The roundtable discussion would be around how to break down the existing barriers. It will also discuss how to improve support for disabled students.

Mr Skidmore has also pointed out that financial assistance is at hand to all prospective students with a disability. Such students are eligible for the DSA (Disabled Student’s Allowance). As per data, 91% of disabled students are more likely to continue their higher education in comparison to the ones who do not receive this allowance.

As per HESA (Higher Education Statistics Authority), there were 26,100 more disabled students in UK Universities. That is an increase of 38% as compared to 2013-14, as per Gov.UK.

As per research by the Dept. of Education, the DSA has helped remove barriers for disabled students at UK Universities. 69% of the students felt confident that they would complete their course. 68% of them felt sure of passing their course. 59% of the students said that they would not be confident of passing their course without the DSA.

The UK Govt.’s ambition is to provide the opportunity of higher education to all, irrespective of their background. The Universities Minister plans to drive the increase in the number of disabled students in higher education.

In 2018-19, UK higher education providers have set aside a budget of £860 million. It will be used to improve access to higher education for students with disabilities. Disabled students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds will receive much more support needed to succeed.

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