Students starting higher education courses on or after 1 September 2015 will have to demonstrate a higher level of need to qualify for DSA (Disabled Students’ Allowances), David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, has announced. In a written statement to Parliament, dated 7 April, he said that:
- Students with specific learning difficulties will only receive DSA if their needs are ‘complex’ and
- Funding will no longer be awarded for ‘standard’ computers. Students will be awarded funding only for higher specification/higher cost computers if they need them by virtue of their disability and not for any other reason, such as the way the course is taught.
The statement also made it clear that universities and other higher education institutions will be expected to support students with milder needs through their statutory duties under the 2010 Equality Act.
The Afasic Helpline Manager says: The proposals do not appear to be open to consultation and in their current form are not very precise. We will keep you up to date as and when we hear more, but in the meantime if you are at all concerned about the proposed changes, please contact your MP – and let us know what response you get.