Monday, May 27, 2024

Higher education

Higher education is the next step on from further education and leads to qualifications such as a degree, for example a BA or BSc, or a certificate of higher education.

Most people start when they’re 18, but you can go into HE at any age.

Aim higher

The Government launched an HE website in 2003 called Aimhigher. It contains information on applying for a course, student finance and student life.

As a student with a disability or learning difficulty, there are several things you may need to consider, including:

  • where to study
  • the support you may need while studying
  • specialist equipment to help you study
  • money and funding

Seeking advice

If you are currently in further education you can get advice and guidance from your teacher or college about the courses, colleges or universities you are interested in.

The Connexions service helps people with disabilities throughout their time in further and higher education, sometimes up to the age of 25.

Your Connexions ‘personal advisor’ will also work with HE colleges and universities to make sure you get the help and support you need.

They will be able to search for courses and universities you are interested in.

Where to study

Colleges and universities will differ but they should all give support to students with disabilities.

The subject you are interested in, and course you want to take, should be the first things you should consider. The Aimhigher website gives lots of information about applying to colleges and universities.

The nature of your disability means that there may be other things to think about, for example, physical access to buildings or personal support.

Universities and colleges of higher education have an obligation to make sure that they make provision for students with disabilities.

Disability Statement

Universities and colleges should publish a Disability Statement setting out how they provide support. You can ask to see a copy of this statement.

The university will have a Disability Advisor or Learning Support co-ordinator who is responsible for students with disabilities.

They can tell you about the support available, for example, equipment to help you study. However, when applying to a university, you don’t have to tell them about your disability.
You can contact them directly about:

  • the Disability Statement
  • the support you specifically need
  • arranging a visit to the college or university

All universities have websites which should contain information for students with disabilities. You could take advantage of the open days that many run.

Better still, arranging a visit gives you the opportunity to see what the place has to offer. You can do this well in advance of applying for a place.

Some colleges and universities have accommodation adapted for the needs of students with disabilities. You may have access to professional care staff and also receive assistance from volunteers.

Aim Higher


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