Joanne Jones, Student Services Manager at the University of Derby, offers tips for students with additional needs who are applying to university through Clearing.
For all students planning ahead can ensure a smooth transition to university. This is particularly the case for students with additional needs.
- At the earliest opportunity, inform the University of your needs.
- Understand what you will be required to do. Ask detailed questions about how the programme is delivered and assessed, including fieldtrips and placements.
- Talk to the programme team and the student support service about any adjustments that you may need, to enable you to study on the programme and ask what support they will be able to offer you.
- Share any current care/support plans with the university student support team.
- If you are applying for a place on a professional programme, ask if there are any limitations to the adjustments that can be made.
- Visit the university and meet the relevant departments. Consider whether the rooms are accessible and if this is the right environment and culture for you.
- If you plan to move into halls of residence, ask if they have accommodation to suit your needs or will they need to make any specific adaptations? If adaptations are needed, is this achievable in the timeframe?
- If you need help with personal care refer yourself to your local authority adult care for an assessment of your care and support needs. They can organise to transfer existing support or set up support for the first time. They will also provide information and advice about aids and equipment, community based services and other local agencies that may be able to help you.
- If you are receiving secondary mental health care e.g. Community Psychiatric Nurse, at the earliest opportunity, talk to them and the university about transferring your support. In addition, many universities have mental health services.
- If you will be living independently, for the first time, think about your skills in budgeting, cooking, laundry, etc.
- Consider how you will get to University and if you have any specific transport requirements. Disabled Students Allowances can help with any extra travel because of a disability.
- Apply for all available funding including Disabled Students Allowances. You can apply for Disabled Students Allowance’s if you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition, autism, specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia or are D/deaf.
- Many Universities have events, prior to the start of term, for students with additional needs. Each event is different but may include moving into halls early, help to prepare for university and opportunities to meet other new students.
- If you use regular medication, order a repeat prescriptions and bring at least a month’s supply, to last until you can register with a GP, local to the university.
- NHS services at home may want to transfer your care and there may be a transition period whereby you will not see your Consultant or specialist nurse. Agree a plan for managing this transition period.
To register for Clearing in advance, go to: www.derby.ac.uk/clearing. To speak to our Admissions staff call: 01332 592018.