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Best Practice Standards 3.5


3.5 Funding and Withdrawal

Funds are adequate to provide effective support services to students with impairments and flexible withdrawal policies exist that reflect their particular circumstances

Best Practice Standards

  1. Clear withdrawal policies and procedures exist, allowing withdrawal without academic or financial penalty if students withdraw from subjects/courses after scheduled closing dates because of impairments.
  2. The withdrawal policy and procedures are known to all students and implemented consistently.
  3. All fee-paying students with impairments receive the same services as their peers.
  4. Adequate funds are generated in the fee structure and/or through other non-operating grant sources to provide effective services to support students with impairments.
  5. The Special Supplementary Grant for Tertiary Students with Disabilities is utilized in an appropriate manner, as set out by the Tertiary Education Commission.

Understanding these Best Practice Standards

  • Ideally students should not receive academic and financial penalty when they are required to withdraw as a result of impairment. This should be decided on a case-by-case basis and staff should have clear guidelines for making decisions.
  • Tertiary institutions can lessen the financial burden on students with impairments through targeted additional financial support (e.g. scholarships, hardship funds, subsidised accommodation or other support) and by considering the financial status of people with impairments when setting fees.
  • According to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC):[14]
    • The fees set for international students are expected to meet any additional marginal cost for receiving the same services and support provided for domestic students, including disability support services.
    • The Special Supplementary Grant for Tertiary Students With Disabilities (SSG for TSD) is:
      • Allocated for initiatives to meet the needs of students with impairments and expected to be focused on domestic students only.
      • Intended primarily to meet the needs of the small proportion of tertiary students with impairments with high cost support service needs. The priority for expenditure should be in relation to these students.
    • Institutions receiving this grant are expected to:
      • Sustain the current levels of financial support for tertiary students with impairments from other funding.
      • Meet physical access modifications from funding other than the SSG for TSD.
      • Provide baseline data on enrolment numbers, course participation and completion rates and graduation or certification rates of tertiary students with impairments.
      • Include appropriate information, where possible in alternative formats, for tertiary students with impairments in marketing, publicity and enrolment material.
  • Implementation of the Code of Practice does not necessarily mean an increase in cost.
    • For example the provision of lecture notes to all students in an accessible electronic form can create savings in terms of staff time and salaries. Staff may no longer be required to photocopy and enlarge information, and the institution may no longer need to employ as many note-takers if they use the notes already written electronically by teaching staff. It is also a valuable teaching tool for all students.