Promoting access for postgraduates with disabilities

Motion Promoting access for postgraduates with disabilities

NPC Notes
1) NPC gave support in August 2002 to the HEFCE funded project Access to Research Institutional issues for Disabled Postgraduates (Premia Making Research Education Accessible).
(Management Sub- Committee remote vote passed 21/8/02)
2) The Premia website has now been launched and is the UKs first resource aimed at supporting disabled research students.
3) The maximum Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) available to undergraduate students for the academic year 2005/6 is:
4460 for equipment; 11,280, for non-medical helper;
1490 for general DSA and can claim reasonable travel allowance.
4) There is a single DSA allowance for postgraduates: 5245 for the academic year 2005/6.
5) That students with disabilities comprise of approximately 5% of the research population.

NPC Believes
1) That union disability campaigns do not raise issues relating to postgraduate research students.
2) The transition between undergraduate and postgraduate can be extreme and requires reasonable adjustments by supervisors, administrators and institutions.
3) The cost of support for DPGR students is very high and may exceed the maximum DSA award.
4) Disabled postgraduates encounter extra barriers at postgraduate level.
5) There is a growing need for an awareness campaign by representative bodies on DPGR students issues

NPC Resolve
1) That the next PN highlights the Premia research project.
2) That the Equal Opportunities Officer investigate ways to campaign for equivalent DSA for DPGR students to those of undergraduate disabled students.
3) That the General secretary and Equal Opportunities Officer approach the NUS, UCU and other representative bodies to highlight the importance of the issues and outcomes of this project maximise research opportunities for disabled students.
4) That NPC encourage unions and associations to promote the E-mentoring tool kit to their institutions.
5) That the NPC website includes links to relevant organisation that can benefit disabled postgraduates.

Proposed: Marilyn Shanks (NPC Chairperson)