News & Features

Department for Education raising Awareness of DSAs

Posted in General News on Friday, August 16th, 2019

According to a report released by the Department for Education which included a survey of 1,173 disabled Higher Education students, 60% of those who were eligible for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) were not aware the allowance existed before they started their course. This is a statistic that the Department for Education is keen to change. DSA is available to disabled students around the UK and people can receive up to £30,000 worth of assistance including British Sign Language interpreters, a personal mentor, transport, and assistive computer technology. According to the report only 11% of the students currently receiving DSA were told about the benefit by their school or college. Further evidence suggests that the advice that some students are receiving when they are applying for university is counter-productive. Some tutors, for example, reportedly advised students not to disclose their conditions through fear that it might weaken their application. Tina Sharpe, the Disability Services Manager at De Montfort University said: "Disclosure is the big stumbling block - 60% of the problem. The ones that don't disclose, because they think they'll be discriminated against, slip through the gaps." Many students find it difficult to complete the application itself because it can be a stressful and complex task. De Montfort University’s Tina Sharpe said: “It's a disjointed process. They have to send off medical evidence, then there's an assessment of needs - and they've got to make that booking to be assessed, it's all reliant on the motivation of the student. The liaison between schools, universities and colleges need to be better - they're under a lot of pressure but it needs to be done, somehow."

Full report

On average £500 is awarded to each student who successfully claims DSA, a student’s eligibility for DSA is not affected by which university they attend and the allowance is not means-tested nor is it repayable. If you would like to find out how to apply for DSA in preparation for starting university you can visit for more information.

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