Frequently Asked Questions - Business case and funding

The Centre for Inclusive Learning Support (CILS) at the University of Worcester in their Q4S project point out that those with a a visual impairment have probably developed some of the following strengths: (summary)

  • Resourcefulness- finding ways to gather information in different ways
  • Strong listening skills - often main method of working,
  • Strong verbal skills - listen carefully rather than depend on print and body language
  • Good memory - note taking and list making take time.
  • Good problem solving skills- often have to practise these skills.
  • An open approach and outward looking - often have to work with others and assistants.
  • Adaptable - always having to cope with the unknown, navigating new areas etc.
  • Hardworking - can take as much as 6 times longer to listen to documents, surf the web etc
  • Good at prioritising - essential when some tasks take longer to complete
  • Proactive - pre-empt possible barriers and plan ahead

There have been many reports written which highlight the drivers for change and according to a report written for the Higher Educational Academy in 2010 - Developing and embedding inclusive policy and practice in higher education -  HEA, 2012  (PDF download) they come under two headings:  External and Internal drivers and many of the pointers support the concept of a wider gain for both students and the institution.  


External drivers 

i) Government policy/national environment
  • Leitch/higher level skills agenda
  • Employer engagement
  • Commitment to WP
  • Development of 14–19 diplomas
  • Demographics
ii) Funding council priorities • Strategic priorities in WP 
  • WP strategy 
  • Key performance indicators
  • League tables
  • Workforce Development Programme
  • Funding regime
iii) Equality legislation • Public duty/SENDA 
  • Equality impact assessments 
  • Equality schemes 
  • Avoidance of litigation
iv) Quality assurance • Institutional audit 
  • • QAA codes of practice
v) National Student Survey • Student satisfaction 
  • Student experience 
  • League tables 

Internal drivers 

i) Mission and strategy • Institutional stated mission 
  • Strategic direction/priorities 
  • Institution-wide strategies and policies
ii) Student retention • Student life cycle 
  • Student experience 
  • Transition to first year of study 
  • Student support 
  • Funding
iii) New opportunities/ business development
  • New markets 
  • Employer engagement 
  • Lifelong learning networks 
  • Partnerships
iv) Quality management/ quality enhancement 
  • Institutional audit requirements 
  • Student experience 
  • Development of professional practice 
  • Quality of learning, teaching and assessment
v) CPD/Developing professional practice
  • Quality enhancement 
  • Specific requirements of the DDA 
  • Greater understanding of diversity 
  • Build knowledge and confidence 
  • Positive impact for all students



The Equality Challenge Unit report on 'Evidencing equality: approaches to increasing disclosure and take-up of disabled students' (Jan 2012) highlights the fact that 'disabled students who receive Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) are more likely to be awarded a first-class degree than those who do not receive the allowance.'   The go on to say that: 


The DSA is a supplementary allowance available to UK-domiciled students who incur additional expenditure because of a disability. The allowance can cover costs for:

  • specialist equipment required for studying
  • non-medical helpers, eg note-takers
  • extra travel costs paid by a student because of a disability
  • other costs

DSAs do not have to be paid back. The allowances are funded by different bodies across the four nations. For further information: