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Posted on: 28/06/2021

Student Finance/DSA Talk


On Wednesday 9 June, the Learning Support Department and our Careers Adviser, Tim Shehu, welcomed Georgie Smith from Oxford Brookes University who delivered an informative and extremely useful presentation about Student Finance and the DSA (Disabled Students’ Allowance).  The talk was organised by Ms McHugh Head of Learning Support at St Charles for a cohort of cross college students known to the department to help them prepare for their next steps. Over thirty students attended and were invited to a Q&A session afterwards with Ms Smith.

Georgie answered such questions as: What are the costs of a university degree course? How do I pay for it? What support is available?

Georgie spoke about how to budget and explained the difference between a TUITION loan (to cover teaching costs) and a MAINTENANCE loan (which covers living and accommodation costs). She reminded students also about deadlines for applications for these loans. Another possible source of financial support she covered was the availability of bursaries which are linked to personal circumstances & household income.​ These can take the form of discounted accommodation, tuition fees, or financial aid. Georgie stressed the need for students to share their circumstances with the university in order to receive support where appropriate. (One example Georgie mentioned was an NHS Bursary of a minimum of £5,000 a year!)

On the additional support available to students before they start their course, she explained about the DSA assessment reimbursement, an appointment with the Disability Support Team of each university and support for Dyslexia screening.  She outlined what the DSA (Disability Student Allowance) was, how it assessed, processed and how it can help students who are entitled to it. After the term has started, students should also be aware of other forms of support including  Assistive / Inclusive Learning; Disability Advisors​; Personal Learning / Support Plan; Counselling, Health and Wellbeing teams; Study / Exam support​; Accessible Accommodation.

Students found Georgie’s presentation to be a reassuring and helpful source of information and were grateful for the opportunity to quiz her expertise.

Thank you Georgie!

(Help if you’re a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability – GOV.UK)