Guest of Honour

Professor Geoff Layer Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton and Chair, Disabled Student Support Leadership Group

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Overview

This forum has been designed in response to the Disabled Students Sector Leadership Group’s (DSSLG) report on Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Assessing current practices and availability of support for students, this forum will evaluate the changes made to DSA and how to embed support into the student lifecycle to achieve positive student outcomes. Providing the opportunity to discuss how to ensure students have the disability support they need, this forum will address various considerations including assistance applying to university, accessible accommodation and aid during lectures and exams. Covering the student lifecycle attendees will review how inclusivity can be embedded into both teaching and learning at university.

Evaluating Current Provision – Implementing the DSSLG Report, Allocating Funding and Sharing Best Practice

Discussing the outcome of the HEFCE’s Review of models of support for disabled students, delegates will consider how university processes can be monitored and improved. This will cover the evaluation of what support for disabled students looks like and the HEFCE’s increase in funding for the 17/18 academic year. Attendees will also assess to what extent the recommendations from the DSSLG report have been implemented.

Keeping Up with an Evolving Sector – Impact of cuts to DSA, Challenges to Universities and Potential for the TEF

With cuts to the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) being implemented last September, universities are having to do more to fill the gap in support for disabled students. Delegates will assess what impact the cuts may have had on disabled students applying to university, the challenge universities now face replacing the provisions affected by the cuts as well as what can be done to standardise a system of support. The session will also consider whether the upcoming Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) will encourage institutions to improve their approaches to disability student support.

Ensuring Support from Application to Graduation – Embedding Provision into Learning & Teaching, Logistical Assistance and Improving Engagement

Sessions at the forum will consider how inclusivity can be embedded into teaching and learning strategies and provide an institutional-wide approach to disability student support. Delegates will address improved engagement with students and external partners and utilising data included in the NSS and the NUS’ Ensuring the student voice is heard survey.The forum will also consider whether enough support is being provided to students with specific learning difficulties (SpLD), building on recommendations from the previous HEFCE report, Support for Higher Education Students with Specific Learning Difficulties.


Agenda
Start

08:30 - 09:00
Registration

 

09:00 - 09:05
Chair's Welcoming Remarks

 
To be announced

09:05 - 09:35
Embedding Inclusive Teaching and Learning into Higher Education

 
Recommendations from the Disabled Student Sector Leadership Group's report

--- Questions, Comments and Discussion ---

Speakers

Professor Geoff Layer Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton and Chair, Disabled Student Support Leadership Group

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09:35 - 10:05
Reviewing Current Support for Disabled Students

 
--- Questions, Comments and Discussion ---

Speakers

Grace Simpson Higher Education Policy Adviser, Higher Education Funding Council for England

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10:05 - 11:00
Keeping up with an Evolving Sector: Impact of DSA Cuts, Challenges to Universities and Potential for the TEF

 
  • How will changes to Disability Students’ Allowances (DSA) impact on students and their ability to learn and succeed in higher education? What does this mean for Higher Education Providers, how will their responsibilities be changing and how can they act to counteract any negative consequences?
  • What can be learnt from the Social Model of Disability and how can these lessons be put into practice to create a university experience that works for all? How should universities take a more proactive approach to anticipate the needs of the student body as a whole and provide integrated support for students with disabilities and inclusive learning environments as a matter of course? What challenges are universities likely to face and how can they overcome?
  • What is inclusive teaching and how can it be implemented effectively and efficiently? How can Higher Education Providers be better supported to support their students with disabilities?
  • How does the TEF further incentivise universities to implement inclusive policies and focus on the attainment and satisfaction of their disabled students? What mechanisms, however, need to be introduced to ensure that disabled students are not going to be financially disadvantaged for choosing more inclusive universities if the fees for such institutions rise to match their higher excellence scores?

--- Questions, Comments and Discussion---






Speakers

Megan Dunn Senior Policy Adviser: Equality Challenge Unit

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11:00 - 11:05
Chair's Closing Remarks

 
To be announced

11:05 - 11:30
Refreshment and Networking Break

 

11:30 - 11:35
Chair's Welcome Back

 
To be announced

11:35 - 12:00
Supporting Higher Education Students with Specific Learning Difficulties

 
--- Questions, Comments and Discussion ---

12:00 - 12:55
From Application to Graduation: Embedding Provision into Learning & Teaching, Logistical Assistance and Improving Engagement

 
  • How can prospective students be encouraged to disclose any impairments or disabilities during the application stage without being fearful of any negative consequences? In what ways can the application process, for example interviews, be adapted for those with specific needs? How can this be reconciled with Fit-To-Practice requirements for certain courses such as medicine? How can existing students be convinced of the positive benefits of disclosing special needs and how can disability advisors support such students during the process?
  • How can universities increase their flexibility in terms of how and when students learn to cater for a wide range of needs? How can e-learning platforms for example be better utilised, for example, and how can campus facilities be adapted to suit students with a range of differing impairments? What training is needed for lecturers to be equipped with the skills necessary to teach students who have specific requirements and be mindful of the range of inclusive teaching styles which would benefit students who are deaf or blind for example?
  • How can peer-to-peer support be encouraged and implemented and how could this benefit students?
--- Questions, Comments and Discussion ---




Speakers

Andrew Rawson Principal: Action on Access

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Melanie Wilkes Senior Policy Advisor: Scope

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12:55 - 13:00
Chair's Thanks

 
To be announced

End

Speakers

Megan Dunn Senior Policy Adviser: Equality Challenge Unit

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Professor Geoff Layer Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton and Chair, Disabled Student Support Leadership Group

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Andrew Rawson Principal: Action on Access

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Grace Simpson Higher Education Policy Adviser, Higher Education Funding Council for England

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Melanie Wilkes Senior Policy Advisor: Scope

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Sponsors & Exhibitors

Cambridge Assessment


Venue details

Central London


Speakers
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