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UPP-sponsored research calls for action to improve outcomes for disabled students

| 07.10.2020 | 3 minutes read |


A new report launched today by cross-party think tank Policy Connect and the Higher Education Commission, and sponsored by University Partnerships Programme (UPP), the UK’s leading provider of on-campus residential and academic infrastructure, sets out 12 key lessons for the Government and university leaders from the experiences of disabled people in higher education.

The new report, ‘Arriving at Thriving: Learning from disabled students to ensure access for all’, calls for:

  • The Government to bring in a fresh, ‘classroom to workplace’ approach to support that spans Whitehall
  • University leadership to drive existing good practice across the whole sector which will help all students to achieve their potential, whether disabled or non-disabled
  • Red tape to be slashed to sweep away the barriers disabled students face in getting the support they’ve been promised
  • Disabled students to be involved in the decisions that shape their experiences – from Whitehall to universities

The report follows a six-month inquiry, chaired by Lord David Blunkett; Kathryn Mitchell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Derby; and Lord Philip Norton, Chair of the Higher Education Commission. The inquiry listened closely to students, with evidence gathered from over 500 disabled students, from senior figures at a number of higher education providers, and charity representatives across the country.

It demonstrates clear room for improvement within higher education and lays out 12 recommendations that Government and the sector must take to improve the experiences of disabled students so that young people can easily move from the classroom to the workplace.

UPP’s Group Corporate Affairs Director, Jon Wakeford (pictured), who has been a Commissioner since 2012 when the HE Commission was established, said: “Higher education represents a key driver of social mobility in the UK and, whilst improvements in participation and awareness have taken place, the Higher Education Commission has identified that the voice of disabled students is yet to be fully embedded in discussions on access to teaching and learning. In its timely and pertinent recommendations, the Commission has provided a dozen key interventions that would help address the systemic weaknesses and bureaucratic burdens which continue to impact on the experiences of students with disabilities.”

This is the latest report that UPP has supported and the full report can be viewed on the Higher Education Commission’s website

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