Consultation on Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs)

BIS have announced a consultation on DSAs – the timing (over the academic summer break) is bad for the universities. Full details follow…

“This email is to notify you that we have today (1st July 2015) launched a consultation on Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs).

The Government remains committed to the principle of ensuring disabled students can access and continue in higher education (HE), and DSAs will continue to help meet the additional costs a disabled student is obliged to incur in order to access their course. However, DSAs should not be provided as the default provision where a legal duty to provide support lies elsewhere.

The consultation seeks information and evidence on where the balance of support available via HE providers and DSAs should lie, and proposes that primary responsibility for certain types of support should in future fall to HE providers as part of the legal responsibilities placed on them. It also seeks an improved understanding of what constitutes a reasonable adjustment for an HE provider to supply, and how DSAs can best complement such support. The consultation also seeks suggestions of alternative ways of delivering support which are different to the approaches set out, but which could still meet the policy aims.

No type of support in the areas outlined will be completely excluded in principle from DSAs funding, and exceptions would be dealt with on a case by case basis.

The results of this consultation will help the Government to determine which types of support for disabled students should be supplied to students by DSAs and which should be provided in part or whole by HE providers. If any changes result from this consultation, the Government expects to implement them from the academic year 2016/2017, which should allow HE providers time to prepare for any changes.

The consultation document is available, and you can reply to this consultation online at https://bisgovuk.citizenspace.com/student-finance/consultation-on-he-dsa-2016-17, by email, or by letter. The form is available electronically at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/disabled-students-in-higher-education-funding-proposals. You can also provide evidence, further information, or a paper in support of your views by forwarding these to the address given in the document

The consultation closes on 24th September 2015.

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