About the Inquiry
Widening access to Scottish universities for disabled people
View a BSL version of this video on the Scottish Parliament's YouTube channel.
The Equalities and Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament is considering the Scottish Government’s proposed budget for the financial year 2017 to 2018. Over the course of its work programme, the Committee will consider many issues regarding equality policy and the various protected characteristics set out under the Equality Act 2010, such as age, gender, sexual orientation and so on.
On this occasion the Committee has decided to focus this call for evidence on the experience of disabled people and British Sign Language (BSL) users.
Specifically, we’d like to hear from disabled people and BSL users in Scotland about your experience applying to a Scottish university, or attending a Scottish university. A list of Scotland’s 19 universities is available below.
The Committee would also welcome input from families, carers, groups or organisation which seeks to promote and support the rights of disabled people and BSL users in Scottish society, as well as anyone else with an interest in this issue.
In the current financial year Scottish Government is spending around £640 million of public money supporting Scotland’s 19 universities. In return for this funding, universities agree to deliver on certain policy targets set by the Scottish Government, which the Government believes is important. Public funding is delivered through a government agency known as the Scottish Funding Council.
Each year the Scottish Funding Council reaches an agreement with each of Scotland’s 19 universities on the targets to be met in return for funding. One of these targets is to ensure universities widen access to undergraduate places for people who may otherwise find it difficult to attend a university.
What we need your help with
The call for evidence period on the Committee’s with on widening access to Scottish universities for disabled people is now closed. The Committee has received multiple submissions and these are currently being processed for publication on our website shortly.
If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Committee by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring 0131 348 5223 or 0131 348 6040, or contact us through the Text Relay service or in BSL through contactscotland-bsl.org.
The Equalities and Human Rights Committee wants to explore whether this policy is working for disabled people and BSL users in Scotland.
The Committee is looking to learn about the experience of disabled people and BSL users in applying to, and/or studying at, one of Scotland’s 19 universities as an undergraduate student.
As a disabled person or BSL user—
Question 1: Tell us about your experience of applying to a Scottish university, whether you gained a place or not? What could be changed about the applications process to ensure equality of opportunity?
Questions 2: If you have studied at a Scottish university as an undergraduate, were there any barriers which stopped you taking full advantage of your time at university, please tell us about them? (for example, access extracurricular activities, using all university facilities, joining student life etc.)
Question 3: If you studied at a Scottish university did you achieve the qualification you wanted? If not, tell us why you think that was (for example, did any barriers hold you back from achieving your full potential etc.)
Question 4: Did studying at a Scottish university help to improve your chances of successfully gaining employment, please tell us about your experience?
Please tell us about of any other comments you feel are relevant to the inquiry.
The call for views is available in PDF format here:
The news release on the call for views is available here: News release on Equality and Human Rights Committee draft budget scrutiny 17 October 2016
The call for views is available in British Sign Language on the Scottish Parliament YouTube channel, and in audio on the Scottish Parliament Soundcloud channel.
The closing date for submitting your views is 6pm on Friday 25 November 2016.
How to engage with us?
Before you send us your views, please see our policy on how we treat the information you send us.
This policy is available in British Sign Language
This policy is available as an MP3 audio file
How to send us your views
You can send us your views, in writing or in video format, by emailing them to email@example.com
You can write to us at:
Equalities and Human Rights Committee
The Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh EH99 1SP
If you need to contact the Committee
If you have any questions about the process, or wish to discuss the options for making a private or anonymous submission—
You can email the Committee clerks at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can call the Committee clerks on 0131 348 5223 or 0131 348 6040.
We welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in BSL through contactscotland-bsl.org/
For more information on the Committee’s work
You can find us on Twitter: @SP_EHRiC
You can find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/scottishparliament
If you have any general questions you also can also text us on 07786 209 888
You can ask questions online through live chat: www.parliament.scot/live-chat
Scotland’s university sector
Scotland’s has 19 universities. They are:
Aberdeen University Glasgow Caledonian University
Abertay University Glasgow School of Art
Dundee University Glasgow University
Edinburgh Napier University Edinburgh University
Herriot Watt University Queen Margaret University
Robert Gordon University Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
St Andrew’s University SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College
Stirling University Strathclyde University
The Open University University of the West of Scotland
University of the Highlands and Islands
The closing date for submitting of views to the Committee was 6pm on Friday 25 November 2016.
The Committee took oral evidence on the draft budget in late November and December 2016 and will report to the Finance and Constitution Committee early in January 2017.
Attached below are the submissions the Committee received in response to its call for evidence.
Full details of all persons making submissions have been provided to the Committee. However, the Committee has received a number of requests where the author asked for their submission to be kept anonymous, or private. The Committee has agreed to these requests.
1 Kiernan, Jennifer
2 Borlan, Tracey
3 Williams, Claire
6 Erskine, Angela
8 Hutchison, Dr Ian
10 Taylor, Mary
11 Woods, Kat
12 Glasgow Caledonian University - Admissions Department
14 Coulson, Anna
16 SRUC - Scotland’s Rural College - Admissions Department
17 Sisolakova, Tatiana
18 University of Abertay - Admissions Department
19 Watson, Lewis
20 Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - Disability Services
21 Autism Network Scotland
22 Clarke , Vivien
23 Scottish Disability Equality Forum
24 McCrone, Susan
25 Wigley, Laura
26 University of the West of Scotland - Disability Services
27 LEAD Scotland - Linking Education and Disability Scotland
29 Student Representative Council of the University of Glasgow
30 University of Dundee - Disability Services
32 Stewart, Johnston
33 University of Edinburgh - Disability Services
34 Heasley, Robert
35 University of the Highlands and Islands - Admissions Department
36 Scarlett, Rebecca
37 University of the Highlands and Islands - Disability Services
38 Universities Scotland
39 University of the West of Scotland - Admissions Department
42 Ross, Victoria
43 The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
44 The Glasgow School of Art - Disability Services
45 The Glasgow School of Art - Admission Department
46 National Deaf Children's Society
47 University of Edinburgh - Disability Services
48 University of Edinburgh - Admissions Department
49 Heriot-Watt University - Admissions Department
50 Robert Gordon University - Disability Services
51 National Union of Students
52 Shearer, Ann
53 Angell, Sarah
55 Ferguson O'Neill, Kayleigh
56 University of St Andrews, Student Association
57 Queen Margaret University - Admissions Department
58 Queen Margaret University - Disability Services
59 University of Aberdeen - Admissions Department
60 University of Strathclyde - Disability Services
61 Edinburgh Napier University - Admissions Department
62 Pending publication
63 Dyslexia Scotland
64 Scottish Funding Council
65 Rogers, Simons
EHRiC Committee 1st Report 2017 (Session 5) Disabilities and Universities (SP Paper 66)
The Committee has published a report on its findings and recommendations from its inquiry into disabled people and BSL users applying to, and studying at, Scottish universities.