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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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The Institute for Employment Studies and Lancaster University’s Researching Equity, Access and Participation group have co-authored this report, which provides a comprehensive overview of models of support for disabled students in the 2016-17 academic year. The review included a survey of 105 providers across the sector, including specialist providers and further education colleges, alongside 13 case studies.

The review finds that a great deal of activity has recently taken, and is currently taking, place to move towards a more inclusive social model of support. The sector scored itself as 6 out of 10 in terms of progress towards a social model. Nearly all providers that responded to the survey had recently planned or were planning to review their support for disabled students. However, progress is varied across the sector, and there is also inconsistent practice within providers. The ever-increasing demand for support has necessitated the investment in individual support needs, sometimes inhibiting longer-term, proactive investment in inclusive support.

The report highlights areas of good practice and a number of recommendations for practitioners, policy makers and leaders in the higher education sector.


Note: A corrected version of this document was uploaded on 16 November 2017. The captions of Figures 1 and 2 were amended to clarify the populations under consideration, and two sentences in Section 4.5.6 were amended to correct a figure and an inference.

The text in Section 4.5.6 originally read ‘...and 7% said that inclusive learning had not been embedded or it was not mandatory. Thus over 90% had already embedded inclusive learning within formal programme development processes, or were planning to review and improve embedding.’ It now reads ‘Only 8% said that inclusive learning had not been embedded or was not mandatory, and that they were not planning to review this.’


Date: 31 October 2017

Ref: Independent research