Middlesex disability policy is censured

August 27, 2004

Middlesex University's policy for selecting students with disabilities has been criticised by its own equal opportunities chief amid concerns about the legality of the admissions procedures.

If a disabled student meets admissions criteria, they are told that somebody will telephone them to discuss their impairment, and whether they would be eligible for a place, according to Susanna Hancock, head of equal opportunities at Middlesex.

On a public internet discussion forum she said that she was "uncomfortable" with the university's policy. She said it might be in breach of laws that ensure disabled students do not suffer "less favourable treatment".

Skill, the national bureau for students with disabilities said that the policy as reported was "very worrying indeed".

A Middlesex spokeswoman said the university admitted students solely on their academic ability and it ascertains disability only after making an offer. She said rejection rates for disabled and non-disabled students were 24 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

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