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Universities and degrees

Higher education is an opportunity to study a subject to a higher level, such as a bachelor's degree or foundation degree. If you are a student with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) you are not covered by the same law that covers colleges but universities are still required to make any reasonable adjustments that are needed for you to access your chosen course

University is a great opportunity to develop independent learning skills. As well as this many students have a great time joining clubs and societies, sharing ideas with people from different backgrounds and accessing modern IT and laboratory facilities, sports centres and other resources.

You will have the chance to gain greater personal independence including, for some students, leaving home and learning to live by themselves and this can also be a key part of the experience. The great advantage of higher education is that it provides a safe and supportive environment in which this can happen.

Having a degree also means a lower risk of unemployment. Research from the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) shows that people with disabilities have radically improved job prospects if they continue with their education. At graduate level, disabled people achieve very similar levels of job success to non-disabled people.

If you are a student with SEND there may be additional costs involved in accessing a course at university. To help with the costs you may be able to apply for Disabled Student Allowances (DSA). DSAs are paid on top of other student finance and don't have to be repaid. For more information see the DSA pages on the GOV.UK website.

Disability Rights UK has produced a series of factsheets for students with SEND about accessing higher education