Equality Challenge Unit – new statistics on DSAs

On Friday 6th November, the Equality Challenge Unit released two new reports (one staff focused, one student focused). The Equality in Higher Education statistical report 2015 offers new evidence that supports previous research reporting the effectiveness of DSAs. Using data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) the ECU’s reports ‘aim to focus attention on areas where the higher education sector needs to act to achieve an inclusive culture for all staff and students’.

They summarize as follows:


The new statistics reports provide strong evidence that the Disabled Students’ Allowance is vital to student attainment, and underlines the challenge for institutions in supporting disabled students, in light of the changes to the DSA.

  • A higher proportion of disabled students in receipt of the DSA received a first/2:1 than those who did not receive DSA (69.6% v. 68.1%)
  • There has also been an increase in DSA take-up (from 38.4% to 39.7%)
  • The staff report found that a higher proportion of non-disabled academic staff were in the highest salary range of over £50,000 than disabled academic staff (28.4% compared with 23.7%; a difference of 4.7 percentage points).
  • The staff report also found that 54.9% of UK disabled leavers were no longer in employment. In comparison, 39.5% of UK non-disabled leavers were no longer in employment. This is a difference of 15.4 percentage points.

Further reading: Equality in higher education: statistical report 2015 http://www.ecu.ac.uk/publications/equality-in-higher-education-statistical-report-2015/

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