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Cuts planned to DSA funding

Cuts planned to DSA funding

Cuts planned to DSA funding

The minister for universities and science, Jo Johnson has announced that the government plans to cut funding for disabled students in higher education. These cuts will then place responsibility from the public to institutions throughout the UK from September 2016. From next year, universities will carry the load to pay for non-medical support staff for disabled students, and funding for specialist accommodation and computer equipment.

The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSAs) help students with an array of disabilities, from physical, mental and learning difficulties that can affect how they learn and get through university.

Johnson, in a written statement said: “The increasing numbers of disabled students entering HE is to be celebrated, as is the increasing numbers of those declaring their disability.”

Johnson also stated that DSAs in 2012-13 provided £145 million of support for over 64,000 disabled students in higher education, which was up by 44% from 2009-10. The planned cuts to the DSA will save up to £30 million.

National Union of Students (NUS) disabled students officer, Maddy Kirkman stated: “All disabled students deserve to have the support they need to access higher education. The NUS is concerned the government response to the consultation will impact the consistency of the support available and place a huge financial burden on some situations.”

“To make higher education accessible, the government needs to work with students and institutions and take our views into account, not brush them aside” She added.

Susan Daniels, chief executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society expressed: “We are bitterly disappointed that the government has announced it will cut disabled students’ allowance, which is a lifeline for so many deaf students at university”.

Students who are currently attending university, or applying to start in September 2016 can speak to the disability support department in their chosen institution(s) for more advice and help.

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