About the Inquiry
Widening access to Scottish universities for disabled people
Page last updated: 2 November 2017
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 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 [email protected], 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 protected]
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 [email protected]
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 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 reported to the Finance and Constitution Committee in January 2017.
The Committee held a follow up oral evidence session to assess progress on the implementation of its recommendations on Thursday 2 November 2017 (see below)
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.
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.
As part of its scrutiny of the 2018/19 Draft Budget, the Committee held a follow up oral evidence session with witnesses on 2 November 2017, to assess the progress in implementing its recommendations. The agenda and written submissions for that meeting, along with the Minutes, Official Report Transcript and Video Log and available here-