Staff Information | International

Access to Learning Project


Learning and Teaching Resources

compiled by Lotte Hammer

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Provision for international students with disabilities

Although the UK funding councils and the Disabled Students’ Allowance do not provide funding for international students, students are still covered by Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act and therefore higher education institutions have a duty to support them (i.e. make reasonable adjustments in order to meet their specific requirements). For more information regarding funding, please contact the Disability Resource Centre (ext.3880).

European exchange programmes tend to have their own funding systems. Disabled students on these programmes must therefore apply directly to these sources to obtain extra funding for their specific needs. For more information, please contact International Student Exchange and Support ( Information about the Eramus-Socrates exchange programmes can also be found on the UK Eramus-Socrates Council’s website (

Admissions and marketing materials for International applicants must to be accessible to students with disabilities as any other materials should be. Hence, information needs to be available in a range of formats (e.g. in large print and/or on disc). It is good practice to give information about learning outcomes, learning, teaching and assessment methods in marketing materials as this will enable applicants to make an informed choice regarding the suitability of individual programmes of study.

Sometimes there might be language and/or cultural barriers. It is good practice to increase awareness of these issues via staff development training, but sometimes it might be more appropriate to consult specialists (e.g. interpreters and/or religious leaders).

It is important to encourage all potential applicants, including international students, to disclose their disabilities on their application form. International recruiters and admissions staff should explain that this information will be used in a positive way, that is, to discuss and establish what reasonable adjustments can be put in place to meet the students’ individual requirements. Moreover, it is essential to remind disabled applicants that the sooner they provide evidence of disability (e.g. a report from an educational psychologist and/or a letter from a doctor) - the sooner the reasonable adjustments can be put in place. Applicants should feel that the disclosure of a disability will not prejudice their application and result only in support.

Sometimes students, including international students, do not disclose their disability on their application form. As a result, it is good practice to provide several opportunities for students to disclose (e.g. when they register, during the first session of a new module and/or in a meeting with a personal tutor). As soon as students have told you about their disability, please ask them contact the Disability Resource Centre (ext.3880). It is also a good idea to introduce them to their school’s disability representative/s.


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