Grants cuts to affect hundreds of Huddersfield University students

Hundreds of disabled University of Huddersfield students are set to have specialist grants withdrawn

University of Huddersfield Students' Union Officer Josh Elderfield

Hundreds of disabled University of Huddersfield students are set to have specialist grants withdrawn.

Now Huddersfield Students’ Union representatives and affected students will lobby local MPs during a national the #DontCutMeOut day of action on June 6 to protest against proposed Government cuts .

The cuts, announced on April 7 by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, will take effect from September 2015.

Although financial support will continue for students with physical disabilities, those with dyslexia or dyspraxia will no longer be eligible for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

In 2012/13 Huddersfield University had 746 students who claimed DSA, 3.7% of the student body. The vast majority of these students would lose out if the cuts are introduced.

Dyslexic or dyspraxic students can currently get grants for specialist software, note takers and scribes in lessons and exams and extra tutorial support.

In 2008/9 The Disability Student Award provided £91.7 million of support to 40,600 students. By 2011/12 this had risen to £125 million to 53,000 students, although it dropped by five million in 2012/13.

Leading the campaign against the cuts in Huddersfield is vice president education Josh Elderfield who said: “Cutting the Disabled Students’ Allowance will be a huge blow for students and we simply can’t let our concern go unheard.

“Research has shown that students receiving DSA are more likely to reach a first or upper class second honours degree than disabled students who do not receive an allowance.’

Dan Ridsdale, democracy and campaigns coordinator, added: “The cuts will leave students who have struggled to get to university in the first place without the support they need to succeed.”

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