Disabled students (including learning differences)
The definition of a disabled student is not limited to those with a physical impairment; it can include those with mental health difficulties or those with learning differences. It is estimated that students with learning differences now make up over 50 percent of the UK’s disabled higher education student population and, with support in this area growing, we anticipate these numbers rising.
We recognise that choosing to go to university may involve significant life changes, and for some students this requires extra preparation and consideration. Living with a disability should not be viewed as a barrier to entering university, and at Loughborough, we have a range support services in place to help our students thrive.
Our dedicated Disability Support team helps put in place any support students may require, with this support tailored to each individual depending on their particular circumstances. To help us plan, prepare, and ensure any required support is in place, we encourage applicants to be as open as possible in sharing any disability related information on their UCAS application.
Take a look at our student, Gemma’s blog, to read all about the amazing experience she is having, or, to find out more about some examples of arrangements we have made to support our students, please watch Konstantinos, Gemma and Keziah’s short films below.
Additional support and information for students who have a disability
Supporting a student’s application to Higher Education can be a complicated and lengthy process. Our School and College Liaison team have developed a range of free resources that can be used within your own institution to help structure this process, including a range of short videos and supporting handouts.
In addition to this we also recognise the key role that parents/carers can play in the decision making process and that for some families this can be a daunting prospect. To help facilitate these conversations we have created a downloadable guide for families. If you would like to request a printed copy please contact us.
Once a student has made a successful application to Loughborough University and accepted their place via UCAS track, we will supply them with a What’s next guide. This outlines the remaining key dates associated with UCAS, details on how to choose and apply for accommodation and information on student finance packages available. It also includes a range of contact details for staff within the University who can answer any queries that a student may have in the lead up to the start of their studies with us.
Events at Loughborough University
Inspiring Minds - Throughout the course of the academic year the School and College Liaison team run the Inspiring Minds event programme. This is a series of one day taster days which allow students to experience undergraduate learning first hand through a range of taster lectures, workshops and activities. Led by our academic staff we want to give students the opportunity to explore potential degree courses associated with their favourite subject areas and to understand the potential careers that they can lead to. To find out more about the event contents or to book a student onto one of these free one day courses please click here.
Support services at Loughborough University
Loughborough University recognises that our campus is made up of diverse students, each with their own individual backgrounds and needs. In response to this our Student Services team offer a varied package of support which is easily accessible for all. Provision is divided up into key areas to allow students to easily contact the team who will be best placed to help them.
This service offers a range of support to students with their academic writing and study skills.
This service offers careers advice and guidance to students, including for placements in industry.
This service includes teams providing counselling, mental health support, disability support, mentoring, study skills support, practical and academic support.
Wardens and sub wardens are available in each University hall to help ensure the hall provides a supportive and enjoyable environment for all student residents.
The centre provides mathematics and statistics support by experienced mathematics lecturers.
The Centre for Faith and Spirituality is a place where students are welcomed to reflect, explore and express their faith and spirituality. It also offers support with spiritual, ethical and moral concerns.
This service provides advice on social welfare issues such as housing, immigration and student finance including loans, welfare benefits and hardship funds.
We are committed to providing a fun, safe and enjoyable environment at Loughborough by safeguarding our students and building a tight-knit, inclusive community.
Support from Loughborough Students’ Union
Loughborough University’s award winning Students’ Union offers over 300 societies and sports teams, fundraising initiatives and volunteering opportunities. The variety on offer represents the diverse nature of our students’ interests and allows cohorts of individual with similar passions to come together. If the Students’ Union does not currently provide a society or sports team to reflect a particular area/activity, they have a process in place to help get one set up.
Disability Support Network (DSN) - This group aims to represent disabled students by addressing accessibility issues, promoting campaigns to raise awareness of living with a disability and hosting regular events. It operates a closed Facebook group allowing disabled students to talk to peers and freely discuss any concerns that they may have. For those who wish, the DSN will provide a discreet logo sticker for their student ID cards. These can be used as a way of signalling to Union staff any additional support that student may have without the need for questions.
Nightline - An out of hours, confidential and anonymous listening service that provides support for students by telephone and email. Staffed by our current students, this term time service allows those with concerns to talk to one of their own peers about the changes and challenges that they may be facing.
Health and wellbeing - As part of our commitment to ensuring our students lead healthy lifestyles, Loughborough Students Union run regular campaigns encourage everyone to review their eating, sleeping and exercise habits.
We also run a number of events focused on mindfulness, relaxation and methods for beating stress (which includes the opportunity to pet puppies!) to help our students cope with the pressures of academic study.
Better decisions - This campaign aims to encourage students to make better decisions, especially with regards to knowing their drinking limits and the decisions that they make once drunk. Work focuses on aspects of student safety, for example, the University operates a free night bus from the Union to their home to ensure students get home safely after a night out. Sexual health is promoted and the Union offer free contraceptives and confidential screening for STIs.
Kickstart a campaign - If students are passionate about a cause that isn’t currently represented by the Union then they are invited to launch their own via the Kickstart platform. Previous examples include campaigns looking at eating a balanced diet on a tight budget, eradicating racism and breaking down gender stereotypes.
National support services
Turning point provides flexible, specialist support to those with a learning disability to help inspire them to achieve their own goals and succeed with their ambitions.
Student Finance England created a range of short films that outline the support available to those wishing to study a degree level course. As part of this suite there are those that focus on funding available for mature students, those with dependents and those wishing to apply for the Disabled Students Allowance. The films clearly outline the kind of funds available and processes required for applying for them.