Is University really for everyone?

Grant type: Student 2010
Round: Student 2010
Amount awarded £680.00
Completed: January 2012
Leader(s): Miss Alice Collett
Organisation: Bath Spa University
Contact Email: alice.collett@bathspa.org
Contact phone: 07525466752
Start Date: 1 September 2010
End Date: 29 July 2011
Interim report received: 3 February 2011
Final report received: 4 October 2011

Although university is mainly concerned with furthering one’s academic career, a large part of university life is about gaining new social experiences. The inclusion of students with disabilities at university level is under-researched. This research project aimed to redress the balance through a single case study, funded by ESCalate, which highlights the physical and social needs of Tom, a disabled student studying in the UK, and the key issues facing the university he attended. The data includes personal accounts and interviews. The research adopts Bronfenbrenner 's (1979) Ecological Systems Theory as a framework for understanding the complex social interactions within and between each of its nested systems. This research found two main areas of concern – communication and awareness of disability – and one area of strength, that of a caring human nature within the microsystem. The findings suggest an urgent need to redress how disabled students are included at university on a national scale. This is both to improve the provision offered by some institutions, but also to ensure the availability of uniform provision and services.